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Author Archive: "Daniel Alarcon"

The Powell’s Playlist: Daniel Alarcón

The Powell's PlaylistWhen I was younger I was able to write with music playing in the background, but these days I can't. I find it distracting. Even when the music is just instrumental or has lyrics in a language I don't understand, the clash between the voices in my head and the song can be very disorienting. I need concentration and silence in order to work (a clean desk helps too), so when I was putting together this list, I was thinking primarily about the mood of the novel, a mix of songs that describe the atmosphere of At Night We Walk in Circles — not songs that inspired me directly so much as an imagined soundtrack to the book I'd already written. I thought a lot about my protagonist, Nelson, his generation, and his particular predicament: he's a bookish young man who believes at a very intuitive level in the power of art but who hasn't been particularly diligent about making that art. He hasn't really been very diligent about anything actually, and he's allowed himself to drift just a ...

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