From the Editor: Sáenz a man of words | Magazine


Wrtalking about a much revered and award-winning author is a daunting endeavor. I’m afraid my words won’t do him justice.

My conversation with Borderland’s son Benjamin Alire Sáenz for this issue of El Paso Inc. magazine was engaging, humorous, philosophical, rustic and poetic. With his thoughts often conflicting and complicated, Sáenz describes his life and work with enviable ease, sincere sincerity, and inspiring passion.

It is with these attributes that he brings his fictional characters to life – raw, imperfect, real. Set in El Paso, Juárez and Las Cruces, his stories seem familiar and embody pieces of his own life.

His latest book for young adults topped the New York Times and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists of its kind. Its prequel has been adapted into a film that will soon be released on the big screen. And both are the discourse of the literary universe.

Sáenz is no stranger to success: he won the coveted PEN / Faulkner Award for Fiction in 2013 and recently received the Texas Institute of Letters Lifetime Achievement Award. He also has an American Book Award, a Patterson Book Prize, a Stonewall Book Award, a Pura Belpré Award, a Southwest Book Award and many other accolades.

I can only hope that my story of his life adequately paints a part of his wealth.


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