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Fox Girl

  • Writer
    Nora Okja Keller
  • Country
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  • Published Year
  • Genre
    Literature - Chinese literature -


Nora Okja Keller, the acclaimed author of Comfort Woman, tells the shocking story of a group of young people abandoned after the Korean War. At the center of the tale are two teenage girls—Hyun Jin and Sookie, a teenage prostitute kept by an American soldier—who form a makeshift family with Lobetto, a lost boy who scrapes together a living running errands and pimping for neighborhood girls. Both horrifying and moving, Fox Girl at once reveals another layer of war's human detritus and the fierce love between a mother and daughter.





  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 28, 2002
    A tinted review in adult Forecasts indicates a book that's of exceptional importance to our readers but hasn't received a starred or boxed review. FOX GIRL Nora Okja Keller. Viking, $23.95 (290p) ISBN 0-670-03073-2 The brutal candor and moving empathy that distinguished Keller's first novel about Korea, Comfort Woman, is again evident in this stark, disturbing portrait of that country's outcast children in the wake of the American occupation. Hyun Jin, the adolescent who narrates this absorbing story, is best friends with Sookie, doubly a "throwaway" child because her father was an American GI and her mother, Duk Hee, is a prostitute. Hyun Jin also carries a double burden: her face is disfigured by a large birthmark, and her mother treats her with hateful scorn. A third teenager, Lobetto, is the son of a black GI whose departure doomed Lobetto to a life scrounging as a pimp and a supplier for the whores of Chollak, a village near an army base outside of Pusan. Keller spares no sensibilities in depicting the bleakness and poverty of even ordinary civilian life in the postwar economy and the more desperate conditions of the despised women euphemistically described as "bar girls" at the GI clubs. Yet she sensitively reflects the naïveté with which Hyun Jin views the horrifying circumstances of Sookie's life and her slide into prostitution, and the way Hyun Jin succumbs when she is disowned by her father. Hyun Jin's terrible coming-of-age encompasses more than her fall from grace; it's also a poignant story of a baby that she, Sookie and Lobetto share, and of the true bonds of motherhood. Unsentimental in portraying the callousness of human nature that's been degraded by violence and deprivation, Keller achieves eloquence in describing the pureness of spirit to which even the most bitter victim can rise. This rare, honest picture of a marginal society unfamiliar to most American readers is a signal contribution to Asian-American understanding. Author tour. (Apr. 1)Forecast:Despite its harsh subject, Keller's novel should do well on the basis of her strong writing and her courage in taking on women's issues. If Oprah takes a look, she could be hooked.


  • Reviews for Fox Girl and Nora Okja Keller In words that pulse with life, Keller illuminates the lives of children caught between two worlds with a vividness that lightens their dark circumstances. —The Miami Herald


  • "[Keller's] lyricism makes even the most disturbing scenes eerily beautiful, and gives women who continue to suffer the cruelest fates a much-needed voice." —San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author


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