Top Fiction Books
Daniel Alarcón (born 1977 in Lima, Peru) is a popular contemporary American writer who currently lives in San Francisco, California. A Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College and a Visiting Writer at California College of the Arts, he is a native of Peru brought up from the age of 3 in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. A graduate of Indian Springs School, Daniel Alarcón earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Columbia University and a master's from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He studied in Ghana and taught in New York City.
Daniel Alarcón's novels have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, Virginia Quarterly Review, to name just a few, and anthologized in Best American Non-Required Reading 2004 and 2005. In spring 2013, he was a Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program. His last novel "At Night We Walk in Circles" was published by Riverhead Books in October 2013.
His first book, "War by Candlelight" was honored by the 2006 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award in 2006. In 2008, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Fellowship, recognized as a "Best Young American Novelist" by Granta magazine, and one of 39 under 39 Latin American Novelists. In 2010, he was also named one of 20 promising writers under 40 by the New Yorker.
Alarcón's debut novel, "Lost City Radio", published in 2007, has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch, Greek, and is to be translated in Italian, Serbian, Turkish, and Japanese. The German translation of "Lost City Radio" by Friedericke Meltendorf received the International Literature Award from the House of World Cultures (Berlin, Germany) in 2009. "Lost City Radio" was in the list of best fiction for 2007 of the Washington Post, Booklist, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and The Financial Times (London).
If you are an avid reader consider reading the books by Daniel Alarcón internationally recognized by literature critics. Other recently published fiction books worth reading are:
"The Laughing Monsters", Denis Johnson
This deep novel depicts the Africa of constant confusion where every human interaction is confronted with various kinds of ambiguity. The main character of the novel is Ronald Nair who, together with an old running mate, tries to get security agencies pay them for the material they laid their hands on. But the situation gets out of control as the stakes keep changing and the characters become involved into a nightmare buddy comedy.
"A Brief History of Seven Killings", Marlon James
This epic novel consists of 688 pages which vividly describe Jamaican criminal underworld during three decades. The plot is centered around the attempted murder of Bob Marley in 1976 by seven gunmen and portrays Jamaica of that period, with its politics, poverty, violence, greed, love and music.
"Euphoria", Lily King
King used a bit of actual history to reveal the story of relationships: in 1933 the anthropologist Margaret Mead went to New Guinea with her then-husband to do fieldwork where she got acquainted and collaborated with another man who later became her husband. King focuses on describing strong emotions of the characters ranging from despair and longing to towering intellectual ambition and steamy desire. The readers will see the love triangle develop in a hot and damp jungle.
"Station Eleven", Emily St. John Mandel
Not exactly post-apocalyptic, the novel is weaving forward and backward in time in non-linear order and is centered on the outbreak of a global flu that destructs the humanity, with survivors going down to nearly cave-person level. Despite being a classic disaster novel it is extremely lyrical, sometimes even sad. Mandel shows the readers how some of the world's most valuable things survive while others are lost for ever and explains why.
"Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot", David Shafer
This book can be classifies as a technothriller. An aid worker spotted something she shouldn't have seen and since that time her life changed drastically. She rightfully suspects that she has become the victim of some sort of conspiracy. Together with two guys struggling in the same web contrived by someone with access to infinite power and data she tries to figure out what's going on and fight it. The narration is funny, smart and moving.
"Wonderland", Stacey D'Erasmo
A popular indie rocker, Anna Brundage, aged 44, is having her comeback tour in support of her new album. The readers follow her from gig to gig, performance to performance where she appears without understanding how she got there and where she is going. Sometimes there is some click and she overwhelms the audience with her singing, sometimes she doesn't.
"Redeployment", Phil Klay
The author who served in Iraq as a Marine describes his war experience and those of his comrades. He depicts fighting in cities and towns where it's hard to guess where the battle field is and who the combatants are. The soldiers fight in the country which is completely foreign to them and many start the feel that the country they are fighting for is becoming alien as well, leaving them without firm ground to stand on.
"The Zone of Interest", Martin Amis
Amis has gained popularity as a darkly comic social satirist in the 80-s and 90-s, but in this book he touches upon very serious matters. The events take place in the Nazi concentration camp where the officers of his fictional camp stage the comedy, but what would serve as a light entertainment turns into something sinister distorted by wild atrocities happening off the stage. In this book he tries to find out who could do such cruel and dreadful things and why.
"The Bone Clocks", David Mitchell
The book begins with the story of Holly Sykes, an English teenager who has recently started hearing sinister voices. This ambitious book takes the reader through a saga of various narrators that culminates in a battle between good and evil, with Holly Sykes being a middleman and a guide in the world of mystery. Although the future of the world seems rather bleak, Mitchell's storytelling talent makes reading it a joy, especially for loyal fan of the author who will meet many familiar characters from his previous books.
"The Secret Place", Tana French
A young boy was found dead on the grounds of the elite boarding school for girls in Dublin, but the murder remains uninvestigated until a year later the student find a clue and reports to the police. Steven Moran, an ambitious detective dreaming of a big case to drive his career, together with Antoinette Conway, delve into the world of cliques, rivalries, jealousies, to discover several dark truths hidden at its very heart.