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Oct 8: Winning Novel for BC Author

"Missing women" tragedy inspires winning novel for BC author

Vancouver, October 8, 2003 - B.C. novelist Nancy Lee, with her debut novel Dead Girls, is the 2003 recipient of the Vancity Book Prize.

Published by McClelland & Stewart, Dead Girls consists of eight short stories woven together by a background narrative concerning the apprehension of a Vancouver serial killer. The critically acclaimed collection has been categorized as edgy and dark, and deals with provocative issues of modern women's lives. Lee said that the apparent lack of public interest in Vancouver's missing women on the Downtown Eastside led to her own exploration of the city and what its residents valued.

Lee holds a B.A. in theatre and film from the University of British Columbia, and later graduated with a MFA from the Creative Writing Program. Born in Wales, Lee emmigrated to Vancouver with her mother at a young age and now teaches at Simon Fraser University's publishing program. She is currently Writer-in-Residence at the University of East Anglia in the UK.

The Vancity Book Prize is the one of the most lucrative literary awards in B.C. It is designed to raise awareness of women's issues while recognizing B.C. writers' contribution to the literary community. "Offering this prize is part of Vancity's long-standing commitment to the arts, and recognition of women's issues," said Reva Dexter, Vancity Board Director and one of three judges for the award.

Winners receive $3,000 from Vancity, and $1,000 from the B.C. Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services to be donated to the charity of the winner's choice. Lee has chosen the Downtown Eastside Youth Activity Society to receive it.

The two other finalists for the prize were Barbara McClintock for Anorexia's Fallen Angel and Kathryn Bridge for Phyllis Munday: Mountaineer.

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $9.3 billion in assets, 305,000 members, and 41 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity was chosen as the best place to work in Canada for 2005 by Maclean’s Magazine as part of its annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers issue. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.