Korean American Books

Summaries and reviews of fiction and nonfiction books by Korean American authors,
books about Korean Americans and Korea, and Korean literature in English translation,
including some academic works and a sampling on the Korean War

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fox Girl by Nora Okja Keller

A young girl discovers that her mother is really her stepmother (who hates her) and is tossed out of house. She assumes a life of fringe living around a G.I. base (early 1960s?) in the worst parts of town, surrounded by the misfits and abandoned who scrabble for a hard life in a tough competitive world. She becomes a bar girl in the worst way and eventually makes her way to Hawaii and refuge with a friend’s child. Violence is depicted with such graphic detail that the author was criticized for extremity/graphic treatment of sexual violence with the argument that it begets further violence. It is a pitifuland difficult tale of abuse and hardship, told well, with a memorable protagonist.

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