Daniel and Daniel
DANIEL OLIVAS: Why did you decide to set your novel in an unnamed South American country? Why not place it specifically in Peru?
DANIEL ALARCÓN: In writing this novel, I didn’t want to feel restricted in any way by the history, geography, or social landscape of Peru. It wasn’t my intention to be coy: I’m Peruvian, the general arc of the war as it unfolds in the novel is similar to that of the Peruvian conflict, and everyone will be able to recognize this. Still, the more I’ve traveled, the more places I’ve seen and people I’ve talked to, the more it has become clear to me that the forces shaping the future of a city like Lima are at work in developing countries all over the planet. When I was on tour last, for War by Candlelight, I always found myself saying, “If Peru was an invented country, and Lima an invented city, many people would still recognize it,” and I guess I sort of followed my own advice.
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