A Narrative Punch to the Throat Indeed: A Review of Ashley Little’s Anatomy of a Girl Gang

Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian

anatomyAshley Little’s Anatomy of a Girl Gang is not for the faint of heart.  As one of my fellow readers Julia on Goodreads wrote in their review: “JESUS CHRIST.  That is all.”  That pretty much sums up my feelings too. [n.b.: trigger warning: discussion of sexual and physical violence, hate crimes].

Anatomy of a Girl Gang follows five girls living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver: “Mac, the self-appointed leader and mastermind; Mercy, the Punjabi princess with a skill for theft; Kayos, a high-school dropout 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.”  Tired of not being in control of their lives, they decide to start their own girls-only gang: the Black Roses.  Each girl is broken in her own way, the survivor of…

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