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Maria Venegas had been estranged from her father for fourteen years when she finally made the journey back from the US to Mexico to visit him in the old hacienda where both he and she were born. As they begin spending summers and holidays together, herding cattle and fixing barbed-wire fence posts, he starts to share stories with her, tales of a dramatic life filled with both intense love and brutal violence - from the final conversations he had with his own father and his extradition from the US for murder, to his mother's pride after he shot a man for the first time at age twelve. In spare, gripping prose, Venegas traces her own life and her father's through the stories she inherited from him and gradually comes to understand the violent undercurrent that has shaped them both.
MARIA VENEGEAS was born in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico and immigrated illegally to the US at four years old. Bulletproof Vest was excerpted in Granta and in the Guardian in 2009. Her short stories have also appeared in Ploughshares and Huizache. She lives in New York. http://www.mariavenegas.com