The Awakening of You in Nancy Lee’s “Dead Girls”

by capreviewroom

By: Mikaela Palmer

Nancy Lee exposes us to our inner feminine side with her provocative and intensely beautiful short stories in Dead Girls. She opens the book with a story about a girl who struggles to find herself in her confusing and complicated love life. Nancy Lee leads the rest of her stories into the unseen and dangerous lives of Vancouver’s most neglected and voiceless population. She constantly tempts the reader further into the stories through passion, fear and hope. “She walks the streets with Nita’s photo, a yellowing snapshot in a sandwich baggie…she walks until the blisters on her heels are unbearable, until her hand cramps.” Behind every hidden corner and each turning page, these stories awaken us, making it impossible to ignore the truth behind each fictional character. 

Lee writes with a passion for bringing attention to the most feared members of society while showing us the beauty and diversity within each and every one of them, regardless of their overwhelming lives.  “At the observation level, she presses her face to the glass, holds her breath and stares out at the city…row after row of anonymous rooftops, the dense green patches of trees, the dark water of the inlet.” Lee creates a perspective that forces the reader into the stories as if they are right there dealing with every emotion that she throws at them. With no turning back, these stories bring us to an understanding of the hardships people face on our own terms and help us see the reality that it could be us, too. 

Dead Girls gives a sharp look at the things we turn a blind eye to in our day to day lives while revealing the significance we can play in one person’s life by just opening our eyes to them. Nancy Lee is a professor at Simon Fraser University and graduated with her M.F.A in Creative Writing from University of British Columbia. As a resident of Vancouver, Lee provides accuracy, navigating throughout Vancouver bringing us a sense of the harsh truth behind each story.

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One Comment to “The Awakening of You in Nancy Lee’s “Dead Girls””

  1. Hand cramps are usually brief, but they can be severe and painful, and sometimes accompany a tingling or burning sensation (paresthesia). This is a common in those with diabetes and others who have suffered damage to the peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy, a disorder that causes dysfunction of nerves that lie outside your brain and spinal cord). Dehydration is a common cause for cramping due to low levels of calcium, magnesium, and fluids in the body. Heat exhaustion can lead to dehydration and cramping in the muscles of the hand and other extremities like your legs.”

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