The King is Always Above the People
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction An unforgettable collection of stories from Daniel Alarcon, one of the New Yorker's 20 best writers under 40, and one of the best storytellers of our time. Migration. Betrayal. Family secrets. Doomed love. Uncertain futures. In Daniel Alarcon's hands, these are transformed into deeply human stories with high stakes. In `The Thousands', people are on the move and forging new paths; hope and heartbreak abound. A man deals with the fallout of his blind relatives' mysterious deaths and his father's mental breakdown and incarceration in `The Bridge'. A gang member discovers a way to forgiveness and redemption through the haze of violence and trauma in `The Ballad of Rocky Rontal'. And in the tour de force novella, `The Auroras', a man severs himself from his old life and seeks to make a new one in a new city, only to find himself seduced and controlled by a powerful woman. Richly drawn, full of unforgettable characters, The King is Always Above the People reveals experiences both unsettling and unknown, and yet eerily familiar in this new world.
Praise for At Night We Walk in Circles `Alarcon is a serious, talented, charming and often beautiful writer' Guardian `Daniel Alarcon is a serious talent ... `At Night We Walk in Circles' is a complex exploration of memory, storytelling, fate and identity ... Alarcon summons both the city and the provinces of his native land with tremendous vigour and reveals the loneliness that lies at the heart of his characters' Financial Times `Comedy and menace are held in exquisite tension ... beautifully plotted and paced ... This is a clever book, not a clever-clever one, with a metafictional dimension that raises the emotional temperature rather than cooling it. As a heartwarming road novel, a pair of doomed love stories and a propulsive, irresolvable murder mystery folded into a scrupulous inspection of narrative ethics, it's some feat' Guardian `Alarcon's conscious reimagining emancipates him from writing a kind of fictionalised anthropology. It allows him to write a fable for any small country ravaged by the Cold War, by the drug trade, by violent political factionalism, and by the displacement of traditional societies through neoliberal economic policies.' Telegraph `The novel succeeds as a powerful elegy for a vanishing world and captures the dying light of a radical moment.' Ted Hodgkinson, Literary Review `Poignantly vivid ... Alarcon's depiction of the twin traps of illusion and despair, his portraits of people defeated by life or refusing to accept defeat, ring powerfully true' Prospect`Nabokov says that imagination is a form of memory, and this novel is a perfect example of this claim. In writing about a place, its people and its history, Daniel Alarcon's memory catches the evanescent details of everyday life, while his imagination, never for a moment blurred, creates a powerful story with so many intricate characters. This is a novel written with extraordinary vision and wisdom.' Yiyun Li, author of Gold Boy, Emerald Girl and The Vagrants
Daniel Alarcon was born in Lima, Peru, in 1977 and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. His collection of short stories, `War By Candlelight', was published in 2005 to great acclaim, and was followed by a novel, `Lost City Radio', in 2007. His writing has appeared in `McSweeney's', `n+1', and `Harper's', and he has been named one of the 20 best writers under 40 by the `New Yorker. He lives in Oakland, California. `At Night We Walk in Circles' is his second novel.