About the book
'Now we make you ugly,' my mother said. 'The best thing you can be in Mexico is an ugly girl.'
The Narcos only had to hear there was a pretty girl around and they'd sweep onto our lands in black SUVs and carry the girl off. Not one of the stolen girls had ever come back, except for Paula.
She came back a year after she'd been kidnapped. She held a baby bottle in one hand. She wore seven earrings that climbed the cupped edge of her left ear in a line of blue, yellow and green studs and a tattoo that snaked around her wrist.
'Did you see that? Did you see Paula's tattoo? my mother said. You know what that means, right? Jesus, Mary's son and Son of God, and the angels in heaven protect us all.'
At the time, I didn't know what that meant. But I was going to find out. Guaranteed.
About the author
Jennifer Clement was born in 1960 and has lived in Mexico since 1961. She is a graduate of New York University. She is the author of the memoir Widow Basquiat and two novels: A True Story Based on Lies, longlisted for the Orange Prize and The Poison That Fascinates. She is also the author of several books of poetry, and is co-founder and director of the San Miguel Poetry Week. Jennifer Clement was awarded the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Fellowship for Literature 2012. She was also President of PEN Mexico from 2009 to 2012 and is a member of Mexico's prestigious Sistema Nacional de Creadores. She lives in Mexico City.