“Wistfully sweet” perfectly describes Benjamin’s art of creating hopeful novels out of complex live circumstances.Inkish Kingdoms
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life has become one of my top reads of this year. Benjamin crafts his novels to give you all the feelings and all the tears. As I read this and his other story, I cannot help but think about all I have learned about Chicano culture and their struggles. I am from Latino America, and his stories resonate deeply with my own culture and identity definition.
We, as Latin American children, are close to our nuclear and extended family, and Benjamin captures that closeness perfectly in the relation of Sam with his father, grandmother, uncles, and aunts. Chicano families tend to grow up in specific neighborhoods surrounded by families of the same cultural background, and this novel is not the exception showing this sense of community that Latinos have. However, Benjamin gives a twist by making Sam, an American born kid, being raised by a Latino family in a Latino neighborhood. With this, we see the same identity struggle of coming of age and cultural and self-identification but in a different light because Sam finds it provoking when people call him “white boy” when he identifies more as a Latino than as a born white American teenager. His heritage or his roots were unexplored until the end, but he had multiple struggles throughout the novel.
I enjoyed how the author makes a desert more than just a symbol of death. In his novels, they mean much more since they are also a place to self discover and be born again. Dealing with death, personally, is not something I confront willingly or with open arms, and this book emphasizes that. Dying will come, and it will make us suffer, but that suffering comes from love. In addition to these sensitive topics, Benjamin’s novel grows stronger by the minute with its queer representation from the most unexpected character. He tightens the conception of family, real friends, helping your loved ones, and defining who you want to be.
When you are reading a book written by a Latino author, you have to pay close attention to the symbols they use related to names. Names have so much power over who we are, and even they are supposed to have control over our beings, and this is a recurrent topic in Chicano books, so if you are reading a book from a Latino author, you have to pay close attention to this.
Overall, people overlook The Inexplicable Logic of My Life as one of the most representative books to read right now, so don’t think twice and let it shook you deep and hard.
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