Bulletproof Vest | Granta

Bulletproof Vest

Maria Venegas

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.

  • Published: 04/06/2015
  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781847083470
  • 129x20mm, 320 pages

This is a contemporary corrido - a ballad of America, a lovesong of Mexico, and an intertwined family history, all brilliantly realised in sharp, precise, poetic prose

Colum McCann

Told in sparse, Spanish-infused prose, Bulletproof Vest mythologizes a family history that is compelling and impactful... Haunting

Kasia Delgado, Financial Times

Dramatic and riveting... One of the best books I've read this year

Mail on Sunday

The Author

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

More about the author →

Maria Venegas on Granta.com

In Conversation | Granta 108

Maria Venegas | Interview

Maria Venegas

Maria Venegas discusses ‘Bullet Proof Vest’, her essay from Granta 108: ‘Chicago’ about her criminal father, who ‘shot a man when he was twelve years old’.