In Perfect Light
El Paso’s BENJAMIN ALIRE SAENZ doesn’t do easy. Death, racism, child molestation, and U.S.-Mexico border issues are just a few of the topics he grazes in his dignified but heart-wrenching novel In Perfect Light. Meet Andrés Segovia and Grace Delgado. Segovia is a conundrum, an intelligent and en-gaging man whose private demons have led him to fatally beat an apparent stranger. Delgado is his pretrial counselor and therapist, and her own tribulations (a dead husband and a cancer diagnosis) seem daunting until she delves into Segovia’s story: He lost his parents as a child in El Paso and then ended up in Juárez’s red-light district, where things only got worse (as if they could). Sáenz has plotted In Perfect Light impeccably, but it’s the horror of Segovia’s life that gives the book true resonance.