Lost City Radio
By Daniel Alarcon
(HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780060594794, 272pp.)
Publication Date: February 2007
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A powerful and searing novel of three lives fractured by a civil war
For ten years, Norma has been the voice of consolation for a people broken by violence. She hosts Lost City Radio, the most popular program in their nameless South American country, gripped in the aftermath of war. Every week, the Indians in the mountains and the poor from the barrios listen as she reads the names of those who have gone missing, those whom the furiously expanding city has swallowed. Loved ones are reunited and the lost are found. Each week, she returns to the airwaves while hiding her own personal loss: her husband disappeared at the end of the war.
But the life she has become accustomed to is forever changed when a young boy arrives from the jungle and provides a clue to the fate of her long-missing husband.
Stunning, timely, and absolutely mesmerizing, Lost City Radio probes the deepest questions of war and its meaning: from its devastating impact on a society transformed by violence to the emotional scarring each participant, observer, and survivor carries for years after. This tender debut marks Alarcon's emergence as a major new voice in American fiction.
"[An] ambitious first novel...Alarcon's successfully and nimbly handled portrayal of war's lingering consequences."
"...one of the most exciting and ambitious writers to emerge in recent years."
-Colm Toibin, bestselling author of THE MASTER and two-time Booker Prize finalist
"Alarcon writes about subterfuge, lies, and the arbitrary recreation of history with a masterful clarity."
-Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Bel Canto
"Alarcon's prose is quick and beautiful. This is a first novel that needs to be read."
-Uzodinma Iweala, author of BEASTS OF NO NATION
"[A] thoughtful, engaging first novel ...With the publication of Lost City Radio, Alarcn is off and running."
-Jonathan Yardley for the Washington Post Book World
"Alarcn has mapped a whole nation and given its war-torn history real depth--an impressive feat."
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"The idea of remembering - and its dangers - permeates the book...powerful and ambitious."
".Alarcn's novel eloquently fuses passion, violence, and societal trepidation at offending the ruling party. Grade: A-"