The King Is Always Above the People: Stories

Longlist, National Book Awards 2017 for Fiction

The King Is Always Above the People: Stories, by Daniel Alarcón book cover
ISBN 9781594631726
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House
Daniel Alarcón author photo, credit Seamus
Daniel Alarcón

Daniel Alarcón is the author of At Night We Walk in Circles, which was a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award, as well as the story collection War by Candlelight, the novel Lost City Radio, and the graphic novel City of Clowns. His writing has appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Times MagazineGrantan+1, and Harper’s, and he was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40.” More about this author >

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Migration. Betrayal. Family secrets. Doomed love. Uncertain futures. In Daniel Alarcón’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.

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