Vancouver Streets Subject Matter Makes The Heart Pitter Patter

by capreviewroom

Eric Salvador

Nancy lee is the Canadian author who wrote the novel “Dead Girls.”  This novel is a collection of eight short stories based in the Vancouver area in the twenty first century. This collection exhibits events that occur in everyday life, but these events often get overlooked.  This collection of short stories captures different females and their powerful emotions and experiences. 

Through out this novel we have a variety of different stories.  A marriage is tested as a mother struggles to cope with the disappearance of her prostitute daughter. Two angry women in a minivan act out their frustrations as they rampage through the night. A pill dependent nurse juggles obsessions, passion, and exhaustion while supervising a high school dance. A quiet tattoo artist takes in a homeless woman, and stumbles upon the true nature of beauty, jealousy, and love. 

This collection starts with the short story “Associated Press” a story about a woman who is in a relationship with one man, but is truly in love with another.  When we begin reading the beginning of the novel we notice that it is delivered in a second person narrative, which consists of referring to the protagonist using personal pronouns, for example “you.”  You may have to read a bit carefully because there are times when the short story refers to “this boy” and “that boy.” Having this type of second person narrative engages the reader to be more involved with the characters emotions.  In addition, wanting to follow what happens to this woman and what this woman is going to do throughout the story.

“Dead Girls” displays Vancouver much differently than how people normally view Vancouver and if you know Vancouver it is interesting to think about the places that are being mentioned and described in the short stories through out the novel.  This novel brings out the reality of Vancouver with its subject matter, which is dark and tense and consists of drug abuse, violence, poverty and prostitution.  When this book was published in 2002 these would be topics that you would not normally have read about or seen on television in such an open manner.  However as the years progress people are more prone to this type of subject matter on a daily basis through television and the media.  If you enjoy this type of subject matter and a good read “Dead Girls” is definitely worth picking up.  The subject matter is enticing and the stories are engaging.  


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