Daniel Alarcón, author of bestseller Lost City Radio, joined Los Altos High students and parents in celebrating Writers Week on Wednesday, February 11 in the Eagle Theatre. Alarcón took the stage around 8 p.m. after a performance by Composition Blues Band, a group of Stanford Writing Professors.
English teacher Galen Rosenberg introduced Alarcón, labeling his novel “one of the best American books.” Rosenberg also took time to thank parent volunteers and the PTSA for their support.
The young writer presented his newly released novel to the hundred or more students and parents who attended the event, beginning his presentation by thanking the school for hosting him. The audience responded positively to the humorous writer and remained engaged as Alarcón read a selected passage from his novel.
“It was really interesting to hear from an accomplished writer and listening to the way he read his own book,” sophomore Kelly Mahncke said. “It was different from the way I would have actually read it.”
Alarcón also took time to voice his opinion about the difficulty of writing and maintained an encouraging and positive attitude.
“Writing a novel seems so impossible when you first start,” Alarcón said. “You think to yourself, why would anyone care? How do you write a good novel, and what really is a novel?”
The accomplished writer left a good portion of the time dedicated to answering audience questions.
When questioned about the differences between fiction and non-fiction writing, Alarcón expressed his favor for the former of the two.
“I like to make it up,” Alarcón said. “I just don’t want to be tied to history.”
He also mentioned the great influence that his family life has had on his writing, praising his childhood for helping him to develop ideas.
Throughout his career, the author has received numerous awards including a Lannan Literary Fellowship, Guggenhein Fellowship and Whiting Award. Alarcón has also been named by Granta magazine one of the best American novelists under the age of 35.