Reviews

In Plain Sight: Reflections on Life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver

Patty Osborne

In Plain Sight: Reflections on Life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver (Talonbooks), edited by Leslie Robertson and Dara Culhane, is a book of interviews that have been shaped into stories by seven women who tell us about their everyday lives. Once you get used to the fact that drug addiction and prostitution are givens in the daily routine of the Downtown Eastside, the women’s comparisons of jails in Saskatchewan and B.C., reminiscences about the good old days when everyone shared their dope, worries about their health once they become HIV positive and discussions about their work in the sex trade do seem part of ordinary life. The women I know cut back on carbs; these women cut back on drugs. The women I know complain about poor working conditions; these women bemoan the fact that prostitutes don’t stick together on the price of a trick any more. They’re not that different from us, they’re just closer to the edge.

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