Benjamin Alire Sáenz Aristotle And Dante Dive Into The Waters Of The World – Content Warnings: Death/Dying, Grief, Homophobia, People Dying of HIV/AIDS, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Violence, Fighting, PTSD, Suicide, Drugs, Transphobia, Misogyny
About the author: “Benjamin Alir Saenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He was the first Hispanic winner of a PEN/Faulkner Award and recipient of an American Book Award for his books for adults.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz Aristotle And Dante Dive Into The Waters Of The World
It was a Printz Honoree Book, a Stonewall Award winner, a Pura Belpré Award winner, a Lambda Literary Award winner, and an Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalist. His first novel for teenagers,
Review: Aristotle And Dante Dive Into The Waters Of The World By Benjamin Alire Sáenz
, won the Thomas Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and was named the New York Public Library Book of the Year for Teens. He lives in El Paso, Texas.” (Biography taken from publisher’s website)
“We are all cartographers – all of us. We all want our names written on the world map.”
It follows Aristotle and Dante as they discover their place in the universe. Aristotle faces the struggles of bullies, makes friends, and learns what he wants his future to look like. The plus side is that he’s finally with the smart and beautiful Dante who shows him feelings he’s never had before. Suddenly, facing a tragic loss, Aristotle is forced to fight even harder to create the life he wants.
. In the first novel, the writing is lyrical and interesting. Aristotle was emotional, insecure, and a little grumpy – just like most teenagers. Although he was complex and at times a bit unrealistic, he was a likable, emotionally complex character trying to figure himself out. As I immersed myself in the new novel, I quickly realized that it couldn’t compare to the first book. Aristotle is overly theatrical, misogynistic, and no longer looks like a seventeen-year-old. The sequel loses the unique style of conversation and witty banter of the first book; Everyone suddenly becomes a melodramatic philosopher, giving extremely tenacious lectures that end in tears. The plot itself is uninspired. It lacks the symbolism and depth of the first novel. I suspect
Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe By Benjamin Alire Saenz
It would have been better to stand alone. If you can pick through the drawn-out monologues, unimaginative plot, and unrealistic conversations, this book is disappointingly mediocre.
(The Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing us with ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any citations are from an advanced version and may be subject to change upon final publication.) Meet the love of your life? In 2012, Benjamin Aller Saenz introduces us to Aristotle and Dante in the YA novel
, making us fall in love with the two Mexican-American boys as they both discover their sexuality and love for each other. The book slowly became a massive hit, winning award after award for its depiction of two brown boys in 1987 in the borderlands of El Paso, Texas. Sanz credits the fans for the success of the book: “They sold it to each other. It was sold from mouth to mouth, hand to hand.”
On the 12th of October. After he finishes the last book, Ari and Dante come to tentatively accept their sexuality and love for one another. But what now?
Book Review # 302: Aristotle And Dante Dive Into The Waters Of The World
The elegant bubble sequel “Happily Ever After” explores the difficulties of maintaining a relationship and finding a place in a wider world that may not always want or accept you. Set in the years 1988 to 1989, the book deals with the onset of the AIDS crisis. Its characters not only witness the disease that will undoubtedly affect their lives but also the homophobia and racism that made this period so devastating.
When you wrote the first book, did you have another part in mind? And if not, when did the sequel become something you wanted to do?
Not at all. When I write a book, I write a book. I have never written a sequel nor ever intended to write a sequel to any of my books. All of my books have a kind of open-minded quality to them, and I think that’s true because I believe that in life, there’s no closure. There is always unfinished business somewhere, especially relationships. I really feel like one of the reasons I wrote the sequel was because I had some regrets. One was that I completely ruled out the AIDS epidemic [in the first book]. This really bothered me on the one hand, [
] was about turning inward and two boys discovering themselves and their identity. So there was no social, cultural or political background to it because it didn’t seem necessary. But I thought I had to do something with [the AIDS epidemic] because it was a very, very important epic in my life. I lost my mentor Arturo Islas, writer and professor at Stanford University. I lost my older brother, Donaciano Sanchez, and I lost one of my closest friends, Norman Campbell Robertson. And the US government didn’t care. The gay community has never been more hated, because they were afraid [of us]. Even more so, LGBT people all over the world were protesting and raising their voices. The world has found out how many of us have been there, and it scares them. I wanted this pandemic — which in some ways very much mirrors the [COVID-19] pandemic — to be part of Ari and Dante’s story.
Aristotle And Dante Dive Into The Waters Of The World By Benjamin Alire Sáenz (hardcover/paperback)
You deal with a number of large and complex issues in this book: racism, sex, gender identity, prison, veterans’ issues, and government failure. What prompted you to revisit these characters and have them deal with these issues?
] It ends where the relationship begins. Falling in love is one thing. It’s quite another thing to stay in love. So I wanted to have them navigate through that relationship. A relationship that turns on itself alone will destroy itself. The first book was a book turned inward and the sequel is a book that turns outward into the world they live in and causes them pain. But the world does not belong to just one person. And I think part of the story of this book is exactly that. We have to embrace our humanity and the [role] we play in the universe, and care about the universe more than we think we can. And that we are also accountable to the universe for the things we do.
I understand that you are in your sixties, which means you must have been in your thirties in the late eighties, which is the exact time period of the novel. What was it like to go back to an era of chaos and loss from the perspective of the teenage characters?
I just turned 67 last August, so it was very difficult for me to write like 16 or 17 years old. What will they know? What will they ask? How do they understand this? Ari and Dante are really smart, articulate, and aware, but they don’t know anything. They are just discovering things. There is an innocence and tenderness to them that is so vulnerable. They are aware of the crisis because it is about them and I knew they were scared and unsafe, but they are trying to figure it out and I needed to wonder what it would be like. I tried to do that in the book. That was the problem I had to solve as I wrote the novel.
Benjamin Alire Saenz
Most of the book is from Arri’s point of view but you also include sections of Arri writing a letter to Dante in his journal. Describe my intention there.
We are different when we write. People used to write letters to each other and these letters were very intimate; They were telling secrets in those letters. Ari reveals so much about how he feels about Dante that he would never tell him face to face in those journals. Ari loves, feels, and expresses it just like Dante, but we see that in Ari’s letters in his journal. And I like it because it’s so vulnerable and we get to know him better. But he would never say these things
This book took me almost nine years to complete and I’m really curious to know what that process was like for you?
I wrote most of it during [the early part of] the pandemic because I really changed my mind about the book and what I was going to say, and I’m very grateful for that. I think I wrote the book I wanted to write. I was so sad at the beginning of the pandemic that my dog died in my arms. It was painful for me. I was so sad. And so I just jumped into the book. I just started writing and writing and it kind of came to me and helped ease my pain. But one of the reasons why it took so long, too
Aristotle And Dante Dive Into The Waters Of The World By Benjamin Alire Saenz — Burdock Book Collective
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