‘Lost City Radio’ is a poignant and deeply moving novel from a promising new author, which looks intensely at war’s damaging effect on society and the individual. Ever since the civil war that took her husband ended, Norma has been the voice of consolation to a people broken by violence.
Every week, bereft families listen to her radio show as she reads out the names of the missing, those who vanished in the clamour and brutality of the drawn-out conflict, with the hope of reuniting the few survivors with their families.
Successes are few; her true gift is the offer of hope. Although her face is unknown to her listeners, her name and spirit are celebrated by a wayward nation searching for a guiding force.
But her life is forever changed when a young boy from a jungle village enters her radio studio and provides a connection to the husband she thought lost – the husband she has not seen for ten years since departing for the war.
Her story and those tangled up in it reveal a country in flux, desperately seeking signs of life, and reasons to continue, amongst pain and uncertainty. Stunning, timely, powerful and absolutely mesmerizing, ‘Lost City Radio’ probes the deepest questions of war: from its wide reaching affect on a society to its intimate emotional impact on every person involved.
This searing yet tender first novel marks Alarcon’s emergence as a new voice in American fiction, fully-formed and ready to be heard.