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Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Benjamin Alire Sáenz was born in 1954 in his grandmother's house in Old Picacho, a small farming village in the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1954. 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... show more



Benjamin Alire Sáenz was born in 1954 in his grandmother's house in Old Picacho, a small farming village in the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1954. 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 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 working for a janitorial service. He graduated from high school in 1972, and went on to college and became something of a world traveler. 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. He is an associate professor in the MFA creative writing program at the University of Texas at El Paso, the only bilingual creative writing program in the country. Ben Saenz considers himself a fronterizo, a person of the border. He is also a visual artist and has been involved as a political and cultural activist throughout his life. Benjamin Sáenz­ is a novelist, poet, essayist and writer of children's books. His young adult novel Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood was selected as one of the Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults in 2005, and his prize-winning bilingual picture books for children—A Gift from Papá Diego and Grandma Fina and Her Wonderful Umbrellas—have been best-selling titles. A Perfect Season for Dreaming is Ben's newest bilingual children's book which has received two starred reviews, one from Publishers Weekly and one from Kirkus Reviews. He has received the Wallace Stegner Fellowship, the Lannan Fellowship and an American Book Award. His first book of poems, Calendar of Dust, won an American Book Award in 1992. That same year, he published his first collection of short stories, Flowers for the Broken. In 1995, he published his first novel, Carry Me Like Water (Hyperion), and that same year, he published his second book of poems, Dark and Perfect Angels. Both books were awarded a Southwest Book Award by the Border Area Librarians Association. In 1997, HarperCollins published his second novel, The House of Forgetting. Ben is a prolific writer whose more recent titles include In Perfect Light (Rayo/Harper Collins), Names on a Map (Rayo/Harper Collins), He Forgot to Say Goodbye (Simon and Schuster), and two books of poetry Elegies in Blue (Cinco Puntos Press), and Dreaming the End of War (Copper Canyon Press).

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Community Reviews
Linda78
Linda78 rated it 2 months ago
Warning: [spoiler] Death and grief [/spoiler] I loved Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and was worried that nothing else would measure up to it. As with that book, this one is centered around a young high school boy trying to figure out life while detailing in his relati...
Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents rated it 1 year ago
I loved this book. I think it's a story that either really connects for you or doesn't at all. I wasn't so sure about it for some, in the beginning, but not too far in I really loved the characters. They're such individuals. They don't really fit into any stereotypes for teens. It made them fee...
Reading is my ESCAPE from Reality!
Reading is my ESCAPE from Reality! rated it 2 years ago
This is an amazing book that seems to truly understand the minds of teenage boys trying to navigate life. It appeals to both boys and girls who are trying to figure out their identity and their lives. Dante seems to know who he is from the beginning, but Aristotle (Ari) is constantly worrying about ...
My Never Ending List
My Never Ending List rated it 2 years ago
I was frustrated with the first half of this novel. I felt that it was going nowhere. Sal was pondering his life and his identity, only he was doing internally. If only he’d reached out, I’d felt better but Sal drifted, his voice silent while his mind filled with questions and unknowns. Sal had plen...
Book Baby
Book Baby rated it 2 years ago
This was a good book but the ending could have been better. I loved the two main characters. I liked the writing and story line. loved the diversity in this book. I didn't like the ending and here might be a few spoilers. I thought the main character realizing he was gay was very rushed. I thought ...
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