Bellydancer Stories


209 pages
ISBN 0-88974-039-9
DDC C813'.54





Reviewed by Laura Ponti-Sgargi

Laura Ponti-Sgargi is a Toronto-based freelance writer.


These stories illuminate human pain without being melodramatic or
didactic. Humor, wit, and irony coexist with the author’s recognition
of despair. Although the stories are distinct, they are linked through
various themes associated with women’s experiences. The title of the
book is shared with a sequence of three stories that relate the
experiences of a young woman who learns the ancient art of bellydancing
from an older woman and mentor. To be certain, the “Bellydancer
Stories” are tales of lust, objectification, and the abuse of women by
men; but they are also about the bonding, love, and healing of women
together. “Pompeii” is a separate yet linked story that tells of
“an ancient woman who could look into her body as if it were a deep
well and pull out many secrets about herself. And others.” This
quotation is emblematic of Lee’s writing in general. The women in her
stories give birth, literally and figuratively, to stories and lives of
their own. If bellydancing was “originally performed as an erotic
dance of creation,” the author triumphs in this collection by creating
mystifying, intriguing worlds of her own.


Lee, Sky., “Bellydancer Stories,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024,