Nominated by:

Vancouver Public Library, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

Arsenal Pulp Press, Canada

Anatomy of a Girl Gang

Ashley Little      

2015 Longlist

A sharply observed novel told in six voices, Anatomy of a Girl Gang is the powerful exploration of a young girl gang in Vancouver called the Black Roses: Mac, the self-appointed leader and mastermind; Mercy, the Punjabi princess with a skill for theft; Kayos, their former classmate who gave birth to a daughter at age thirteen; Sly Girl, who fled her First Nations reserve for a better life, only to find depravity and addiction; and Z, a sixteen-year-old anti-establishment graffiti artist.

Cast out by mainstream society, the five girls terrorize Vancouver with a primal, restless urgency. As they navigate from ATM robberies to cooking crack on the stove to savagely avenging the beating of one of their own, they hope and wait for better days that will turn into a better life, even as the darkness of fate draws inevitably nearer.

Told with shocking and at times brutal honesty, Anatomy of a Girl Gang is a vivid and unnerving story of urban girl culture.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Ashley Little studied creative writing at the University of Victoria. Her debut novel, Prick: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist was shortlisted for the ReLit Award and has been optioned for a film, for which she is writing the screenplay. She is also the author of the young-adult novel The New Normal. She lives in the Okanagan Valley.

Librarian’s Comments

This gritty Ethel Wilson Prize winner for 2014 is about a gang of teenage girls known as The Black Roses. Drugs, crime and violence predominate in this powerful narrative told from multiple perspectives by the various gang members: Mac, the Punjabi Princess, Kayos, Sly Girl, and Z. Althought the novel is set in Vancouver, this story of disenfranchised youth will be instantly recognizable to anyone living in a large urban centre with similar social issues. The novel also has adult / young-adult crossover appeal.

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