Thursday, October 4, 2012


Sometimes the border is a mirror, sometimes an escape,
and sometimes it’s just the bridge you cross to go home.


The Kentucky Club on Avenida Juárez is a touchstone for each of the stories in this remarkable collection. Saenz’ characters walk by, or they might go in for a drink or to score, or they might just stay and hang out for a while and let their story be told. Sáenz understands that a place like the Kentucky Club is an antidote to borders, welcoming Spanish and English, Mexicans and gringos, poor and rich, gay and straight, drug addicts and drunks, laughter and sadness—and sometimes even well-earned despair. It’s a place where you can sit at a polished mahogany bar, drink a cold beer, and become a part of history. “I’m going home to the other side.” That’s a strange statement, but you hear it all the time at the Kentucky Club.

“There is never a question of either Sáenz’s own extraordinary capacity for caring and compassion or the authenticity of the experiences he records...” Booklist 

“Sáenz's moving collection of short stories hinges on the intergenerational clientele of the titular borderland watering hole just south of the U.S.-Mexican divide on Avenida Juárez...there's much to enjoy in these gritty, heartfelt stories.” Publishers Weekly

Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a poet and writer of fiction, young adult 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. Sáenz is the chair of the Creative Writing Department at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club 
240 pages / Publishes September 2012
PAPERBACK ISBN 978‐1‐935955‐32‐0 / US $16.95 
E-BOOK 978-1-935955-33-7 (AVAILABLE @ ALL E-TAILERS)
Available to the trade at 
For more information, contact John Byrd ; 915‐838‐1625

(I recorded this video in August 2012 at the Kentucky Club on Avenida Juárez; la ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The book's designer Antonio Castro H, Ben and I walked across the bridge to take photographs, looking for the perfect cover. We had a beer, talked to the waiters, took photographs and enjoyed ourselves. When it was time to go home, I asked Ben to say a few words about the stories. It was a good afternoon. --Bobby Byrd)

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