Laird Hunt

El Paso author Benjamin Alire Sáenz won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction -- one of the most prestigious honors in literature -- for his collection of stories in "Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club."

"This award allows me to keep my job for a while," Sáenz said jokingly Tuesday.

He paused, took a breath and said he considered his writing a gift for which he thanked his mother, his friends and "everyone who has ever loved me, inspired me and believed in me."

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