Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club

Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club Winner of the PEN Faulkner Award for Fiction Benjamin Alire S enz s stories reveal how all borders real imagined sexual human the line between dark and light addict and straight entangle tho

Winner of the 2013 PEN Faulkner Award for Fiction Benjamin Alire S enz s stories reveal how all borders real, imagined, sexual, human, the line between dark and light, addict and straight entangle those who live on either side Take, for instance, the Kentucky Club on Avenida Ju rez two blocks south of the Rio Grande It s a touchstone for each of S enz s stories His charWinner of the 2013 PEN Faulkner Award for Fiction Benjamin Alire S enz s stories reveal how all borders real, imagined, sexual, human, the line between dark and light, addict and straight entangle those who live on either side Take, for instance, the Kentucky Club on Avenida Ju rez two blocks south of the Rio Grande It s a touchstone for each of S enz s stories His characters walk by, they might go in for a drink or to score, or they might just stay there for a while and let their story be told S enz knows that the Kentucky Club, like special watering holes in all cities, is the contrary to borders It welcomes Spanish and English, Mexicans and gringos, poor and rich, gay and straight, drug addicts and drunks, laughter and sadness, and even despair It s a place of rich history and good drinks and cold beer and a long polished mahogany bar Some days it smells like piss I m going home to the other side That s a strange statement, but you hear it all the time at the Kentucky Club.Benjamin Alire S enz is a highly regarded writer of fiction, poetry, and children s literature Like these stories, his writing crosses borders and lands in our collective psyche Poets Writers Magazine named him one of the fifty most inspiring writers in the world He s been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN Center s prestigious award for young adult fiction S enz is the chair of the creative writing department of

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Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club

  1. Benjamin Alire S enz born 16 August 1954 is an award winning American poet, novelist and writer of children s books.He was born at Old Picacho, New Mexico, the fourth of seven children, and was raised on a small farm near Mesilla, New Mexico He graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1972 That fall, he entered St Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado where he received a B.A degree in Humanities and Philosophy in 1977 He studied Theology at the University of Louvain in Leuven, Belgium from 1977 to 1981 He was a priest for a few years in El Paso, Texas before leaving the order.In 1985, he returned to school, and studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso where he earned an M.A degree in Creative Writing He then spent a year at the University of Iowa as a PhD student in American Literature A year later, he was awarded a Wallace E Stegner fellowship While at Stanford University under the guidance of Denise Levertov, he completed his first book of poems, Calendar of Dust, which won an American Book Award in 1992 He entered the Ph.D program at Stanford and continued his studies for two years Before completing his Ph.D he moved back to the border and began teaching at the University of Texas at El Paso in the bilingual MFA program.His first novel, Carry Me Like Water was a saga that brought together the Victorian novel and the Latin American tradition of magic realism and received much critical attention.In The Book of What Remains Copper Canyon Press, 2010 , his fifth book of poems, he writes to the core truth of life s ever shifting memories Set along the Mexican border, the contrast between the desert s austere beauty and the brutality of border politics mirrors humanity s capacity for both generosity and cruelty.In 2005, he curated a show of photographs by Julian Cardona.He continues to teach in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Texas at El Paso.

535 Reply to “Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club”

  1. Historias que te llegan al coraz n, personajes con necesidad de buscar y encontrar Un libro con fragmentos tan reales sobre la vida en la frontera.

  2. Amazing This was a book of seven short stories It was such an entertaining read that I probably could have read the whole book in a day or two But each story was so powerful, after each one I just put the book down and thought about it for a while I read the book over seven days, a story each night This book hasn t received many rave reviews, so after each amazing chapter, I found myself contemplating why that was I decided that perhaps the book was too melodramatic or not subtle enough for some [...]

  3. More than the Kentucky Club itself a cool, seedy lil place that welcomes you on your walking voyage into Juarez, Mexico the best drunken time you can possibly have if you are an American 18 year old and you are not afraid to tempt the cops and risk driving drunk it is the theme of pain which unites all seven stories The pain is palpable the resurgent feeling of melancholy drives all other emotion down, downThis is perhaps the quintessential novel about El Paso, Texas We should all be pretty grat [...]

  4. C sempre una pistola in giro, anche quando non riesci a vederla C sempre un dito incassato da qualche parte nel tuo cervello, un dito che prude, ansioso di premere il grilletto di quella pistola che sempre in giro.Un ponte separa due opposte citt , El Paso e Ciudad de Juarez, tracciando un confine crudele come quello tra la vita e la morte Due comunit si osservano e si studiano come due irrequieti amanti e le cose diventano interessanti e complesse, non appena in gioco ci sono la bellezza e il d [...]

  5. Seven short stories about stunted boys who have been dealt blows by life s hurting game Struggling through with different methods and different results A bit of a melancholic read but the last one gave me hope, hope that after all the struggling, rays of light will shine through Salvation existed in his own broken heart and he d have to find a way to get at it Having just finished watching the series The Bridge set in Juarez El Paso these short stories added images about thoses places people in [...]

  6. This was an absolutely fantastic if too short story collection which captivated me from the very first sentence, moved me, and made me want from every story I can easily see why this collection received both the 2013 PEN Faulkner Award for Fiction as well as the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction although not every story is gay themed.The Kentucky Club in Ju rez, Mexico, just over the U.S border, is a touchstone in every story Much like the characters in Saenz s stories, the Kentucky Club ca [...]

  7. Individually, the stories are powerful, and excellent There is so much to love, particularly in The Art of Translation As a collection, there is simply not enough variety The narrators of the stories are largely indistinct Nearly every one has indifferent parents, is mired in self loathing, and won t let himself be loved This collection would have benefited from narrative diversity.

  8. Do you know what to do with love, Charlie Probably not While all stories in this collection affected me emotionally, for me, they didn t deliver what the blurb promised.The first two stories stood out He Has Gone To Be with the Women is a love story between two men one from El Paso and the other from Ju rez The Art of Translation is about the aftermath of a racist bashing on a young Mexican student With them I understood the direction this collection was taking, I saw what the conflict was, I sa [...]

  9. I ll say right out of the gate, I didn t love any of the stories in this collection There are definitely a few I liked than the rest namely, The Art of Translation, Sometimes the Rain, and Chasing the Dragon But because there s so little variety in the book, it s hard for me to really think of them as outstanding Every one of these seven stories is written in the first person POV of a male protagonist narrator They tend to be guarded against getting too close in romantic relationships because o [...]

  10. Ec ce zio na le 7 racconti lunghi senza battute d arresto.Sembra tutto molto vero, credibile.Delicato, poetico, commovente.Parole chiave dolore bourbon liscio genitori crudeli a sesso soprattutto gay droghe non lasciarsi andare l idea di confine al suo meglio 80 100

  11. I was one of the not so few white El Pasoans fortunate enough to visit the Kentucky Club before the shit started in Juarez Though I was in my late teens and bent on getting drunk uninterested in the rich history of some of the establishments in which I found myself drinking I did recognize the inherent specialness of the Kentucky Club It seemed to me to have a reverence and mystery about it A history and knowledge that I was drawn to, even in my ignorant, blissful youth I insisted my friends and [...]

  12. I wanted to carry this book around everywhere I went, not because I wanted to be seen as an intellectual, or deep, and soulful, but just because I wanted to talk about it with everyone I d come in contact Then, near the end, there were other stories that made me want to run home and cry because someone found out what I looked like inside After I ve cried down this lump in my throat to the knot in my stomach, I ll have a drink and wish for a cigarette, sorry that I can t walk over the bridge to m [...]

  13. 3 1 2 stars.Emotionally wrenching stories Some beautiful writing in this collection My problem here is that virtually every protagonist is an incredibly SLIGHT variation on the writer s Aristotle character from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe There s a sameness in their personalities, their speech patterns, their outlooks on life I don t see a whole lot of range here.As with the author s YA book mentioned above, the number of times I see That made me laugh throughout thi [...]

  14. Es m s un 4.5 5Las historias son bastante buenas, muy reales Pero lo nico que me disgustaba era que la mayor a de los narradores eran casi lo mismo desdichados, sin padres amorosos y apasionados por el arte la pintura Pero fuera de eso estuvieron buen simos esos cuentos Mis favoritos fueron El que pone las reglas A veces la lluvia y, Persiguiendo al drag n.

  15. This was such a delicate book to read I am usually drawn to deep, powerful, punch in the face kind of writing, but this is the exact opposite of it This collection of short stories is written with an exacerbated sensitivity The stories themselves are paperweight, and reading them feels like submerging yourself in water You felt its feathery touch, but you are not scarred Just caressed with unimaginable care and delicacy Beautiful.

  16. 3.5Cuentos magn ficos Mi favorito El que pone las reglas.Mi nico inconveniente es que todos se parecen tanto, que al final se vuelve incluso mon tono el compilado.

  17. what a phenomenal collection the stories are tender and wrought but not often overly sentimental and full of heart and honesty they examine and complicate all kinds of borders the physical borders of countries, borders of sexual identity, and the borders and walls we put up ourselves they were really fucking sad but so, so beautiful that i couldn t put it down i thought the use of the kentucky club was almost unnecessary all the stories would have felt related even if they didn t all stop by the [...]

  18. Tragic, emotional, compelling, raw and biting Benjamin Alire S enz collection of short stories is stunningly beautiful as it tackles the topic borders, both literal and figurative The literal border is the U.S Mexico border with the cities of El Paso and Juarez offering two very different experiences One of freedom and relative peace and the other of extreme violence and danger But importantly the seven stories in the collection explore the difficult borders of race, class, gender, and sexualit [...]

  19. De verdad que este libro esta lleno de demasiados sentimientos en las 7 diferentes historias el autor Alire S enz nos cuenta a trav s de sus paginas, al igual que con Aristoteles y Dante en estos relatos el escritor hace que te enas de los personajes y que les tengas cierto cari o que al final de verdad que te duele dejarlos atr s, para conocer otra historia diferente pero esto se vuelve a repetir y as hasta terminar el libro completo A estas alturas no puedo decidir cual historia fue la que me [...]

  20. Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club is a series of seven short thought provoking stories These stories are connected not only by the Kentucky Club, a touchstone in every story, but by the common theme of borders, real and imagined, and how they affect the lives of those on both sides This novel explores profound topics such as hate crimes, racism, homophobia, addiction, suicide, mental illness, and will undoubtedly make you think even after you put the book down With Mr Saenz s use o [...]

  21. Y all, this book is so damn gorgeous you need to read it Not physically gorgeous but on the inside omg The words are beautiful and I am so fucking in love I thank Dionne so damn much for introducing me this book This book is full of short stories that pretty much show you the horror of living beyond the Mexican border I don t really understand it geographically because I never did understand geographic terms but damn, the first story broke my bloody heart.And it continues on from there, I was li [...]

  22. I would give all of the shorts in this collection 4 or 5 stars I love the writing Most of the stories aren t very happy, but they were meaningful Topics spanned love, depression, hate crimes, suicide, and so many other things Some of the connections between characters were so beautiful I really loved it I read them all in one day.Definitely want to read even by this author when I get the chance to.

  23. My favorite book at the moment Important look at all kinds of borders the most obvious the very fluid one between contemporary El Paso and Juarez All of the characters are long time residents of la frontera so the stories are told from a perspective we rarely see in fiction.

  24. Seven stories, in each of which the Kentucky Club, a bar in Juarez, plays a minor role All of them are than good, but Sometimes the Rain is one of the best I ve ever read.

  25. Full review at readdiversebooks p 52Definitely one of my favorite short story collections ever Granted, I have not read very many, but this set has convinced me to read .

  26. Benjamin Alire Saenz has become one of my favorite contemporary writers over the last few years with his sensitive and emotional stories which explore the soul of the American Southwest.Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club is a collection of shorts that put one of Saenz s favorite themes the duality of Mexico and the US front and center Specifically, Saenz is fascinated by the mirroring of his native El Paso and its sister city across the river, Juarez.Written at the height of the cri [...]

  27. Seven moody, introspective and melancholic stories with the Kentucky Club as a spectral appearance that loosely ties them together These stories need to be savoured, not devoured, because their force rests not on explosive actions or emotions, but on subtle signs that hint at the disaster within, on the quiet sadness they evoke If I wanted to nitpick, I d say there is very little variety in them, and pretty much everything circles around dysfunctional families, emotionally abusive relationships [...]

  28. I have read all of Benjamin Alire S enz s children s books This is my second adult fiction book that I have read by him I found this book haunting, riveting, and poignant I live in El Paso, but have also lived in Ju rez, so I could relate to the feeling of belonging in two places when you re raised on the border I can also relate to the feeling of not belonging to one place at all I found the way that S enz talked about the violence in Ju rez as raw and, unfortunately, very true to what s been h [...]

  29. My humble opinion is that Benjamin Alire Saenz is our greatest living writer You may think that s overkill, but I do know that he never fails to entertain, enlighten, and make my world a little brighter Whether it be his poetry, his young adult novels, or his adult novels, I am enthralled And Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club fits right in This book of short stories revolves around the themes of fathering, mothering, coming out, being happy, and ethnic identity Each story has some [...]

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