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City of Clowns


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About the Author

Daniel Alarc�n 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 and the novel Lost City Radio. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Granta, n+1, and Harpers, and in 2010, he was named one of the New Yorker's "20 under 40." He is Executive Producer of Radio Ambulante, and teaches at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York. His new story collection, The King Is Always Above the People, will be available October 2017.

Sheila Alvarado is an artist, illustrator, and author. She lives in Lima, Peru.


Praise for City of Clowns

"The tale takes on a breathtaking new dimension... Dynamic... [A] haunted atmosphere permeates every page. Alvarado renders Alarc�n's source material in stark black and white, a scratchy yet refined style that's full of deep shadows and woodcut-like crosshatching. But it's her composition that truly brings City of Clowns to life. Rather than relying on a typical comic-book grid, Alvarado employs an inventive architecture of panels; some float in fields of negative space, while others are framed as bricks in a wall or sheets drying on a line. At certain points, she abandons panels altogether in favor of a more flowing, expressionist layout. Even her most daring experiments in form, though, succeed in thoughtfully conveying the pensive tone and subtext of Alarc�n's meditation on guilt, regret, and forgiveness -- and sometimes the gut-punching lack thereof."

"Sheila Alvarado lends visual brilliance to Alarcon's affecting tale."
Entertainment Weekly

Vanity Fair

"The story of Chino and his father is told in equal parts narration and flashback, with simple, black and white illustrations by Sheila Alvarado that complement Alarc�n's understated yet poignant prose . . . Alarc�n writes in simple, conversational language that makes for an easy read while also evoking a sense of intimacy, that quality more often associated with memoirs than fiction. It's that very directness that Alarc�n employs to great effect; reading City of Clowns I had the sense that I was being made privy to a story at once profoundly personal and also universal."
--Chicago Tribune

"This graphic-novel adaptation strips the original short story to its essential elements but loses none of the rawness or tension. In stark black and white, Alvarado's illustrations intensify the sentiment of the text through visual interpretations ranging from literal to purely fantastical. Frequently stunning in their clarity and economy, the illustrations give this already complex story an added layer of richness and depth. Darkly satisfying but with no easy endings."

Praise for At Night We Walk in Circles

"Wise and engaging . . . [a] layered, gorgeously nuanced work."
The New York Times Book Review

"Consistently compelling . . . Alarc�n's smoothly polished prose [is] flecked with wit and surprisingly epigraphic phrases . . . with lines that knock the wind out of you."
The Washington Post

"Outstanding . . . a work that creates a multilayered world and invites you to enter it."
Los Angeles Times

"Masterful . . . a sterling novel . . . brave, thoughtful and astute . . . elegant in its construction, it feels perfectly suited to bring Alarc�n's tremendous talent to a wider audience."
The Miami Herald

"Compelling . . . an intellectual puzzle."
The Boston Globe

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