Photo de l'auteur
31+ oeuvres 9,857 utilisateurs 472 critiques 4 Favoris

A propos de l'auteur

Benjamin Alire Saenz was born in 1954 in his grandmother's house in Old Picacho, a small farming village in the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was the fourth of seven children and was raised on a small farm near Mesilla Park. Later, when the family lost the farm, his father went back to afficher plus his former occupation -- being a cement finisher. His mother worked as a cleaning woman and a factory worker. During his youth, he worked at various jobs -- painting apartments, roofing houses, picking onions, and cleaning for a janitorial service. He graduated from high school in 1972 and went on to college. He studied philosophy and theology in Europe for four years and spent a summer in Tanzania. He eventually became a writer and professor and moved back to the border -- the only place where he feels he truly belongs. afficher moins
Crédit image: Larry D. Moore


Œuvres de Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristote et Dante découvrent les secrets de l'univers (2012) 6,236 exemplaires, 351 critiques
Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World (2021) 1,118 exemplaires, 21 critiques
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life (2017) 939 exemplaires, 22 critiques
Last Night I Sang to the Monster (2009) 373 exemplaires, 26 critiques
Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood (2004) 185 exemplaires, 9 critiques
Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club (2012) 161 exemplaires, 4 critiques
Carry Me Like Water (1995) 134 exemplaires, 4 critiques
He Forgot to Say Goodbye (2008) 123 exemplaires, 8 critiques
A Gift from Papá Diego / Un regalo de papá Diego (1997) 93 exemplaires, 3 critiques
The House of Forgetting (1997) 64 exemplaires, 2 critiques
In Perfect Light (2005) 63 exemplaires, 4 critiques
Names on a Map (2008) 59 exemplaires, 4 critiques

Oeuvres associées

The Ecopoetry Anthology (2013) — Contributeur — 49 exemplaires, 1 critique
Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age (1995) — Contributeur — 32 exemplaires
Mirrors Beneath the Earth: Short Fiction by Chicano Writers (1995) — Contributeur — 18 exemplaires


Partage des connaissances



Girl kidnapped from Mexico and taken to the U.S. à Name that Book (Décembre 2012)


Yes, this is a beautiful tender book - I didn't finish unfortunately.

Because it didn't pull me to a finish I'm not giving it more than 3 stars. It's probably not the fault of the book but more that I find young adult novels set in early high school don't hold my attention like books about adults.
Okies | 350 autres critiques | Jun 27, 2024 |
I wasn't expecting to be sold on this book upon picking it up, despite my intrigue at the title and setting. Much to my surprise I really enjoyed it. Sanez expertly uses repetition to build complex characters, establishing speech patterns and a supporting culture through subtle details in something as simple as truncated speech and thoughts that reflect the speaker's voice perfectly, never breaking character. I did have to wonder though: When Ari's parents confront him about his sexuality toward the end of the novel, is his reaction real? That is, would a Latino teenager in the '70's respond positively to his sexuality being revealed to him by his parents? He seemed to accept it pretty quickly and without a fight. (You could argue that he'd been fighting it the whole novel, but I don't buy that. It's one thing to be subconsciously aware of confusing sexual impulses, and another to be confronted with it in a conversation that essentially has you backed into a corner.) The book spent a lot of time establishing that Ari liked to fight and had enough inner turmoil to fuel it for the foreseeable future. I just wasn't sold on the idea that he readily accepted the realization and had no other concerns about his identity that went along with it.
I'm not real big on romance stories and I appreciated that this is much more complicated than that. I was left with a satisfying appreciation for the character development that led to a fitting ending.
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illarai | 350 autres critiques | Jun 26, 2024 |
Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common.

But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.


My Review
: First love, with another boy, when you're fifteen and angsty and from a Mexican-American family.

Wow, that's a lot. Like, a real, real lot.

Which, as adults, we sometimes do not take into account when dealing with teens. The thing we lose sight of most often is that teens have adult-strength emotions triggered by the same things we get triggered by but without our decades of perspective to temper our responses with. Ari's right...his Dad is suffering. His Dad is right...Ari can't understand this suffering. In fact, no one really can. Adults don't think this is as weird and awful as Ari, not yet used to the helplessness of loving others, does. All Ari knows is that his Dad's refusal to talk about his feelings feels like rejection. So Ari clams up...and doesn't see the irony of this. Perspective: missing.

Dante, being brash and bold, just...does stuff. Ari feels envious, astonished, drawn to this bigness and forcefulness. This feels so intoxicating, so overwhelmingly right, that he and Dante meet each other all the time, talk, think, and in that gloriously uniquely young man way, fall in love. They're on different pages here, too, stunningly. Dante doesn't see this love as weird or's the 1980s! Stonewall was in the 1960s! Ari thinks it's another way he's weird. He does think Dante's weird, too, and if Dante...big, bright, beautiful Dante with his strong ideas about weird, weird must be okay. Somehow that must be true, but how?

Thus is first love born. That was my absolute favorite thing about the story. It wasn't about the zeal of the organs for each other, in Joseph Campbell's memorable and accurate formulation of sexual desire's essence; it was instead about the addictive rush of communion with the Other, the joy of discovering the Other is not only Other but gloriously beautifully Other. These boys discover, slowly and organically, that Love is the best, the only addictive drug that makes things better.

Or it can. And it does in this story. It does this, you should note, S L O W L Y. And Ari, angry teen with a huge rock on top of his mouth, needs help figuring out what it is about Dante that he is, well, Noticing. Here is where I felt the true beauty of the story comes to the fore. It is Ari's parents, these complicatedly wounded souls who are sources of difficulty for him (as all parents must be) who rip off the bandage and show him that he is in love with Dante.

And they do it, in 1980s El Paso, Texas, with kindness and acceptance. This is how we know it's fiction.

Everything about this read was a pleasure to me. It's been over a decade since the story burst on the scene. There are sequels (I haven't read those yet). This story keeps reverberating through our louding voices of hatred. I hope you and I, readers with mileage and perspective unavailable to its target audience, can help that audience find this wonderful story of honest love and acceptance offered and accepted.
… (plus d'informations)
richardderus | 350 autres critiques | Jun 15, 2024 |
Words cannot express how beautiful I thought this book was, so poignantly written, with believable and well developed characters that you feel so deeply for. I will be reading this book again.

Also props to Lin Manuel Miranda's narration.
jenkies720 | 350 autres critiques | Jun 7, 2024 |


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