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Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Författare till Livets outgrundliga mysterier

31+ verk 9,181 medlemmar 465 recensioner 4 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

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 visa mer 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. visa färre
Foto taget av: Larry D. Moore


Verk av Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Livets outgrundliga mysterier (2012) 5,856 exemplar
Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood (1600) 185 exemplar
Carry Me Like Water (1995) 133 exemplar
He Forgot to Say Goodbye (2008) 118 exemplar
The House of Forgetting (1997) 65 exemplar
In Perfect Light (2005) 62 exemplar
Names on a Map (2008) 58 exemplar

Associerade verk

The Ecopoetry Anthology (2013) — Bidragsgivare — 47 exemplar
Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age (1995) — Bidragsgivare — 30 exemplar
Mirrors Beneath the Earth: Short Fiction by Chicano Writers (1995) — Bidragsgivare — 16 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



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


Io e questo libro non siamo partiti con il piede giusto: lo stile di Benjamin Alire Sáenz mi ha messo a dura prova perché la sua prosa – soprattutto i dialoghi – mi suonava artefatta e piuttosto lontana dal rappresentare le voci di due adolescenti e dei loro rispettivi genitori. Come ho scritto anche di recente, per me la verosimiglianza in un romanzo è molto importante, quindi mi stavo già cospargendo il capo di cenere quando è successo qualcosa.

Esattamente non so che cosa, ma ho iniziato ad amare questo romanzo, quasi mio malgrado, e ne sono molto felice. In primis perché i due protagonisti, Aristotele e Dante, sono adorabili: viene proprio voglia di entrare nel libro a abbracciarli forte, forte, rassicurandoli del fatto che in futuro le cose andranno meglio per loro.

Poi Aristotele e Dante scoprono i segreti dell'universo è un bellissimo romanzo di formazione perché manca di estremismo giovanile. Infatti, in questo genere di romanzi è facile imbattersi in adolescenti che ricercano con una certa pervicacia i cosiddetti eccessi, mentre Aristotele e Dante cercano semplicemente di trovare la loro strada. Il che non vuol dire che non facciano le loro cavolate, ma si tratta più di sbagli connaturati al vivere che non di una ricerca deliberata di trasgressione.

La stessa esplorazione dell’orientamento sessuale e delle loro prime esperienze avviene in maniera molto tranquilla, sebbene niente affatto indolore, visto il carico di pregiudizi e violenza che una persona omosessuale doveva ancora affrontare negli anni Ottanta. Sáenz è il tipo di scrittore che non fa drammi, ma riesce comunque a scrivere scene che ti spellano viva e ti lasciano indifesa davanti al dolore, che a volte è parte inevitabile dell’esistenza, ma a volte viene dalla sola cattiveria altrui ed è difficile da mandare giù.

Non posso che concludere con un appello a ignorare la brutta copertina italiana della Loescher (che mi sono rifiutata di riportare qui, proprio per ingolosirvi con quella originale) e l’edizione scolastica ben poco invitante: è un bellissimo YA, di quelli che ci si gode anche da adulti e che merita tutta la vostra attenzione.
… (mer)
lasiepedimore | 345 andra recensioner | Nov 17, 2023 |
Actual rating: 4.5/5

This book had been on my TBR for a very long time, and it is a firm favourite in the bookish community. So, when it was made available on NetGalley again for a limited time ahead of the sequel coming out later this year, I jumped at the chance to finally read it. And I am so, so glad I did.

Aristotle and Dante is a beautiful, tender and heart-wrenching coming of age story. I sometimes struggle to get really drawn into contemporary YA nowadays, but I had no such problem with this book. I was glued to this book from the very first page, right up to the end.

Ari and Dante are, for different reasons, two very complex and compelling characters. Seeing all events unfold through Ari's eyes, hearing his inner struggles first hand, made it almost impossible not to sympathise with him. Was he always making the best choices or behaving blamelessly? Oh, no. But then, he shouldn't really have to, and I was glad to get to know a teenage boy who actually faces the full struggle of living his teenage years in very difficult circumstances. His emotions are all over the place, but I found myself really understanding his pain and his struggle to communicate this to those around him.

By contrast, I found it harder to get really attached to Dante, but that is probably because he is always filtered by Ari. Still, he was also beautifully drawn, revealing his complexity and his inner torments only a little at a time. Their friendship is one of the sweetest, most tender friendships I can remember reading about, and I was there for it!

I also really liked the parents and how involved they were in their children's lives. Their patience and willingness to question themselves, and even challenge themselves when they realised their children needed them to, was absolutely brilliant and flawlessly executed. I love positive parent-child relationships in YA particularly, and this was one of the best I have seen.

One thing that was a bit hit-and-miss for me in an otherwise brilliant reading experience was the writing style. I generally like a more poetic style, similar to the one the author adopted here, and I liked how he managed to still keep the text simple without being weighed down by lyricisms. However, most of the dialogues, especially the ones between Ari and Dante, came across as a bit too clunky and unrealistic, even for two exceptional boys such as them. This is obviously a personal preference, but I found it really distracting and it happened just too often to ignore.

Despite that, I still loved this book and the calm, quiet way it deals with significant, life-changing, scary and, sometimes, outright painful themes of identity, belonging, family, friendship, love and, ultimately finding your place in the world. I'm really looking forward to the sequel now!
I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.
… (mer)
bookforthought | 345 andra recensioner | Nov 7, 2023 |
“Another secret of the universe: Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.”

[b:Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe|12000020|Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1)|Benjamin Alire Sáenz||16964419] is a coming of age story about two Mexican-American teenage boys who are trying to figure out their place in the world. It deals with topics such as friendship, identity, sexuality, and family relationships.

The story begins with Dante offering to teach Ari how to swim, and their friendship blossoms from there.

Throughout the novel, Dante is constantly teaching Ari about life and changes his perspective on a lot of topics. Ari hates his life but when he meets Dante, his life seems to be more tolerable and his outlook on many things seems to become more positive.

At the end of their first summer together, Ari pushed Dante out of the way of an oncoming car and is beaten up badly. Only weeks later, Dante moves to Chicago. This only makes their friendship grow stronger, whether they notice it or not.

Both are going through their own problems; Ari with his brother and Dante with his sexuality. The best part about friendship is the ability to go back to normal after not talking for so long, or after dealing with personal problems. Both boys are trying to find themselves in the world.

Ari struggles with family issues for a long time before his family finally opens up about why his brother is in prison. He also deals with his closed-off father, who is still scarred from his time in Vietnam.

Dante realizes he's into kissing boys instead of girls and is ashamed of himself. Dante gets caught kissing a boy in an alley and is beat up for it. Ari becomes protective and Dante and finds out who is responsible for giving his best friend pain.

We find out that Dante is in love with Ari in like the middle of the book...and Ari is still clueless about his sexuality. But when he comes to terms with the fact that he reciprocates those feelings, he also feels a sense of shame -- having been in love with his best friend and not realizing it.

But when the two fully realize and admit their feelings, the book closes with a happy ending.
… (mer)
orderofthephoenix | 345 andra recensioner | Oct 22, 2023 |
What a lovable cast in this book, I loved how it was awkward and painful and hard and still filled with love.
Yggie | 345 andra recensioner | Oct 12, 2023 |



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