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Dead Girls

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  232 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Infused with eroticism, poignancy, and insight that cuts to the bone, these stories lead us into a tipping world of emotional wagers, loss and discovery, power and impulse. 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-de ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published July 15th 2003 by Emblem Editions (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 419)
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Sep 09, 2009 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone! A love for short stories is not a prerequisite!
Don’t let the title Dead Girls mislead you. Yes, there are dead girls here – well, missing and presumed dead, anyway – but these stories are full of life, shining with brilliance, dancing with your emotions. Some stories are deep, dark, disturbing; others are bold, bracing, beautiful – yet each is infused with compassion, tenderness, and a deep awareness of what it is to be human.

I read Dead Girls for the first time about six years ago. Back then, I was mostly reading novels, very few short sto
Feb 02, 2010 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alan by: Bonnie Lumley
A superb set of linked stories, spoiled only by the second person pov which I have grown weary of, so early noughties (this was published in 2002), and maybe some slightly unlikely images (the washing powder ontop of the machines in one). I will do a proper review just as soon as I can find the book - I put it down somewhere in the house and now can't find it - I suspect my daughter has it. I did find 'Day' though which I will get back to next (after Winesburg, Ohio), and I will get back to this ...more
Jul 25, 2013 Ape rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
2007 bookcrossing journal:

This is an uncorrected bookproof I picked up in a charity shop a while ago - a collection of 8 short stories by Cardiff-born writer Nancy Lee.

The stories are quite honest and direct about people, relationships and sex. Females lead the way in all the stories here. It is beautifully written, almost dream-like here and there, but due to the subject matter, also quite melancholic. The story entitled Dead Girls, about a mother looking in the red light districts for her miss
Sep 12, 2011 Kaisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never been much of a short-story reader, but I quite enjoyed this collection. Some were better than others, of course.
I don't know if the title of this book comes from one of the short stories called 'Dead Girls' or not, but if that's the case, then I don't think that's the short story I would name the book after. There were so many others that were better. Like the one with the teenagers, home alone in the dark. I loved that one. (can't recall the name of it). It was such a great portrayal
Jer McS
Apr 21, 2014 Jer McS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A memorably stylish and mournful collection of stories, all of which suggest the impossibility of maintaining or even holding on to happiness. It's a viewpoint you might not like or agree with, but Lee's handling of the theme in story after story is quite remarkable (especially for a debut book).
Jul 07, 2012 Jarrah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a series of diverse short stories focusing on lives and relationships mostly around Vancouver. All are tied together with a common theme - the disappearance of women from the Downtown Eastside. Lee came to speak to our Women in Literature class when we read this and talked about how she started writing when activists were calling for the police to investigate the disappearances, well before Pickton's arrest and trial. It's eerie how much she got right, but even if she hadn't it woul ...more
Owen P
May 10, 2014 Owen P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, impressive writing (if grim in outlook).
Great book of short stories by a Canadian writer. I loved it. Her writing was fresh, unpretentious and immediately engaging. Unafraid of dealing with such uncomfortable issues as prostitution, violence and sexual taboos, the stories are disturbing and bold. Woven throughout the collection is the grim fact of all those Vancouver women, "working girls", who kept disappearing for years, without much of a police investigation. Beautiful writing.
Arja Salafranca
Feb 12, 2012 Arja Salafranca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Canadian Lee’s debut collection of fiction. These stories are all linked by a thread of a police finding a serial killer, and are stories about men and women stumbling through life, love, relationships – not really trying to find answers because they know there are no answers it seems. Life is a series of experiences, good and bad, or so I think Lee is trying to get at. It’s a wonderful collection, a real find.
George Ilsley
Nov 08, 2012 George Ilsley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, canada
An excellent and disturbing collection. Somewhat eerily prophetic in some ways, considering what we know now about the missing women in Vancouver, but of course even when this book was being written much was rumoured and suspected about a serial killer on the loose.

However there is much more happening here than dead girls buried in backyards. A strong, beautiful and memorable collection.
I enjoyed this book, and would definitely read it again. When I picked it up from the library, I didn't realize it was a group of short stories, but I found it very cohesive in terms of theme and the links between each story. I found the imagery vivid and the descriptions original. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book.
Johanna Van Zanten
A first novel, a collection of stories that are at times heart wrenching and harsh. I see this as new language of another generation and I needed time to get used to it. She is an immigrant from the UK: all the more power to her.
Very intimate, meaning intimate to oneself, to ones feelings, and thoughts. Thoughts you think no one must know, should know. It scared me because it brought to the surface how similar we are as women. Great Great Read!!!
Jennifer Irvine
Jan 03, 2015 Jennifer Irvine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb. read it in four days. the stories were so well crafted, readable, interesting, a common thread through each. I cared, I could understand. I loved it and hope she writes another book.
Jan 03, 2012 Rebekkila marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Cecily Kyle
Good book, but there were times when I got a little lost with the switching of characters. Otherwise the story was quite interesting.
Jan 29, 2009 JMV rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've got a signed first edition of this book, actually! I liked the first or second short story the best.
Oct 21, 2014 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sharp, raw prose. Very provocative writing. A dark read, but an enthralling collection.
Aug 03, 2008 Jennica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sharp, tough stories with characters I haven't forgotten even 8 years later...
Allison McMahon
I enjoyed this book, but occasionally, the stylistic shifts felt gimmicky.
Johanna Zanten
Jun 07, 2011 Johanna Zanten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, startling writing style, takes some getting used to, original.
Uneven, as most short story compilations are. Some gems, some yawns.
Apr 10, 2007 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
Short stories. Been a while since I read it.
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Mandi Lefebvre rated it it was amazing
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Hailed by Globe and Mail as “a masterwork of revelation,” Nancy Lee’s collection of short stories, Dead Girls, (McClelland & Stewart 2002) was named a best book of 2002 by the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Vancouver Sun, and Book of the Year by NOW Magazine. Winner of the 2003 VanCity Book Prize, Dead Girls has been published in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Holland and Spain.

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