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-dependent nurse juggles neuroses, infatuation, and exhaustion while supervising a high school dance-a-thon. A quiet tattoo artist takes in a homeless woman, and stumbles upon the true nature of beauty, jealousy, and love. Written in taut, unflinching prose, these stories are edgy and dark, sharply observed and uniquely imagined. As provocative as it is brilliant, Dead Girls introduces Nancy Lee as an astonishing and original new literary talent.
Nancy Lee lived her early years in England before immigrating to Canada. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She teaches at the Simon Fraser University Writing and Publishing Program, and is Associate Director of the Booming Ground Writers Community.
Lee’s first book of fiction, Dead Girls, was named Book of the Year by NOW Magazine, and was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, as well as in the 2001 Toronto Life Summer Fiction issue. She was one of seven writers selected by Margaret Atwood for a special CBC Radio feature on new writers to watch, and a jury member for the CBC’s “Canada Reads” program for 2003. She is the recipient of many grants, fellowships, and writing awards, including the Gabriel Award for Radio.
Nancy Lee lives in Vancouver, where she is at work on her first novel.
“Dead Girls is among the bravest fictional debuts in recent memory and heralds the arrival of a bold and audacious new voice in Canadian writing.”
–Quill and Quire
“These are moving and gripping stories – harsh, yet delivered with delicacy and compassion. They are from a young, new writer of conspicuous talent. Read them – and you will wake from a slumber you did not know you were in.”
–Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi
“Beautifully penned, intensely moving stories.… A masterwork of revelation and catharsis.…What a gift is Nancy Lee. No review can tell you.”
–Globe and Mail
“Dead Girls heralds the arrival of a bold and audacious new voice in Canadian writing…A disturbing, threatening, and ultimately thrilling debut.”
–Quill & Quire (starred review)
“Dead Girls has a can’t-put-it-down urgency. It’s about survival and toughness – and when you least expect it, hope.”
“These stories [have] a heart-stopping power.… Meticulously crafted, every element faceted and polished.…Dead Girls reveals Nancy Lee as a writer of uncanny abilities.”
“Lee has written a book that has an unforgettable sense of urgency. Remember the name.”
–NOW (five-star review)
“How tender, beautiful, tragic and soulful these stories are. Nancy Lee creates poignant moments of utter darkness and somehow, miraculously, she fills them with pinpricks of hopeful light. This book may teach you something about yourself and the way you move through the world. I couldn’t put it down.”
“Nancy Lee writes as a young writer should – fearlessly.…Dead Girls is a standout first collection.”
“Her writing flows so eloquently, you don’t fully appreciate its sting until the sentence is over. Dead Girls is a powerful book perfectly in step with its time.…”
“Vibrant, startling, and – contradicting the book’s title – electrically alive.”
–Victoria Times Colonist
“Dead Girls is a frighteningly accomplished book.”
“Lee is a pure and fearless writer.”