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A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Saenz. 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.
Rooted in the desert, these poems are a tribute to a people with a deep-rooted sense of place and a commitment to family and community.
This immensely moving novel confronts divisions of race, gender, and class, fusing together the stories of people who come to recognize one another from former lives they didn't know existed -- or that they tried to forget. Diego, a deaf-mute, is barely surviving on the border in El Paso, Texas. Diego's sister, Helen, who lives with her husband in the posh suburbs of San Francisco, long ago abandoned both her brother and her El Paso roots. Helen's best friend, Lizzie, a nurse in an AIDS ward, begins to uncover her own buried past after a mystical encounter with a patient. With Carry Me Like Water, Benjamin Alire SÁenz unfolds a beautiful story about hope and forgiveness, unexpected reunions, an expanded definition of family, and, ultimately, what happens when the disparate worlds of pain and privilege collide.
Tras la muerte de sus padres en un accidente automovilístico, el joven Andrés Segovia y sus hermanos se ven obligados a mudarse a México con el resto de la familia. Esta decisión, a pesar de haber sido tomada con la mejor de las intenciones, es un error que trastornará para siempre la vida de Andrés. Después de varios años de vivir en México luchando contra el estigma de ser un hispano nacido en Estados Unidos y sintiéndose siempre fuera de lugar, Andrés decide regresar a los Estados Unidos. Las autoridades lo detienen un día y lo ponen bajo la tutela de una terapeuta llamada Grace Delgado, una viuda que vive en El Paso. Su relación se convierte pronto en una gran amistad, y justo cuando comienzan a florecer y a disfrutar de su vida juntos, se descubren secretos inconcebibles acerca de la muerte de los padres de Andrés . . . secretos que bien pueden destruir la posibilidad que tienen de ser felices.
"I mean, it's not as if I want a father. I have a father. It's just that I don't know who he is or where he is. But I have one." Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegrove don't appear to have much in common. Ram lives in the Mexican-American working-class barrio of El Paso called "Dizzy Land." His brother is sinking into a world of drugs, wreaking havoc in their household. Jake is a rich West Side white boy who has developed a problem managing his anger. An only child, he is a misfit in his mother's shallow and materialistic world. But Ram and Jake do have one thing in common: They are lost boys who have never met their fathers. This sad fact has left both of them undeniably scarred and obsessed with the men who abandoned them. As Jake and Ram overcome their suspicions of each other, they begin to move away from their loner existences and realize that they are capable of reaching out beyond their wounds and the neighborhoods that they grew up in. Their friendship becomes a healing in a world of hurt. San Antonio Express-News wrote, "Benjamin Alire Sáenz exquisitely captures the mood and voice of a community, a culture, and a generation"; that is proven again in this beautifully crafted novel.
From award-winning poet Benjamin Alire SÁenz comes In Perfect Light, a haunting novel depicting the cruelties of cultural displacement and the resilience of those who are left in its aftermath. In Perfect Light is the story of two strong-willed people who are forever altered by a single tragedy. After AndÉs Segovia's parents are killed in a car accident when he is still a young boy, his older brother decides to steal the family away to JuÁrez, Mexico. That decision, made with the best intentions, sets into motion the unraveling of an American family. Years later, his family destroyed, AndÉs is left to make sense of the chaos -- but he is ill-equipped to make sense of his life. He begins a dark journey toward self-destruction, his talent and brilliance brought down by the weight of a burden too frightening and maddening to bear alone. The manifestation of this frustration is a singular rage that finds an outlet in a dark and seedy El Paso bar -- leading him improbably to Grace Delgado. Recently confronted with her own sense of isolation and mortality, Grace is an unlikely angel, a therapist who agrees to treat AndÉs after he is arrested in the United States. The two are suspicious of each other, yet they slowly arrive at a tentative working relationship that allows each of them to examine his and her own fragile and damaged past. AndÉs begins to confront what lies behind his own violence, and Grace begins to understand how she has contributed to her own self-exile and isolation. What begins as an intriguing favor to a friend becomes Grace's lifeline -- even as secrets surrounding the death of AndÉs' parents threaten to strain the connection irreparably. With the urgent, unflinching vision of a true storyteller and the precise, arresting language of a poet, SÁenz's In Perfect Light bears witness to the cruelty of circumstance and, more than offering escape, the novel offers the possibility of salvation.
The Espejo family of El Paso, Texas, is like so many others in America in 1967, trying to make sense of a rapidly escalating war they feel does not concern them. But when the eldest son, Gustavo, a complex and errant rebel, receives a certified letter ordering him to report to basic training, he chooses to flee instead to Mexico. Retreating back to the land of his grandfather-a foreign country to which he is no longer culturally connected-Gustavo sets into motion a series of events that will have catastrophic consequences on the fragile bonds holding the family together. Told with raw power and searing bluntness, and filled with important themes as immediate as today's headlines, Names on a Map is arguably the most important work to date of a major American literary artist.
As a Chicano boy living in the unglamorous town of Hollywood, New Mexico, and a member of the graduating class of 1969, Sammy Santos faces the challenges of "gringo" racism, unpopular dress codes, the Vietnam War, barrio violence, and poverty.