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Fox Girl

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  440 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
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 n ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 25th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 2002)
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Feb 25, 2008 Mel rated it really liked it
This book takes place during the Vietnam war in the view-point of a young Korean girl. She has a large birthmark on her face and is considered an outcast. Her best friend is the daughter of a whore. I always love books about outsiders and am totally digging this one so far.
Mar 05, 2008 Kimette rated it really liked it
This was a really good book. The subject matter was dark at times as it deals with teenage prostitution in Korea during the war. But the characters grow on you and I had to continue reading hoping they would prevail. Innocent victims. It mentions a sequel to this book which I will have to find and will probably read the authors other book Comfort Woman.
May 28, 2008 Kristin rated it really liked it
Shelves: text-book
This is a book I probably wouldn't have found on my own. It was required reading for my Diversity in Literature class. It is the middle book of a trilogy of women. Mother, daughers, grandaughters. It is about the Korean "comfort women" during the Korean war. Sad, graphic, but very interesting.
I love this book! One young girl chronicles her life in Korea (after WW2 and before Korean War). GI's, whores, the pitiful existence in an American Town. A superb descriptive piece that persuades and teaches with its descriptions of daily life.
Aug 29, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I read this years ago and I still think about it. It's the story of a "throwaway" children, of a Korean woman and American GI. It also examines the lives of poor women and children, who feel they have no alternative to prostitution. The book is graphic and violent, but never gratutitously so, and creates a strong and powerful story.
May 07, 2009 Maria rated it really liked it
Starts off really well with description of the lives of children of Korean prostitutes and American GIs, but once the children grow older, the story seems to spiral out of control and becomes less plausible-sounding (not in historical accuracy, or to describe the plight of girls and women, but in the choices the characters make).
Jul 14, 2009 Erin rated it liked it
After living in Korea for almost 2 years I thought I should read this book. I must say I wasn't happy with that decision until the very end.
This book shows a very different view of Korea right after the "end" of the Korean War and how American's GIs treated the locals. In some parts the book got so dark and descriptive that it made me uncomfortable and sad. I kept reading it hoping that somehow there would be a resolve to all the wretchedness.
Keller is definitely a talented writer and I must say
Aug 19, 2013 Joe rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. This story is harshly informative, nicely written, and important to read. The lives Hyun Jin, Sookie, and Lobetto live are intensely disturbing. The characters draw you in, but still keep some distance. Somewhat guarded. Each character is profound. Hyun Jin's sheltered superiority becomes desperate strength. Sookies' desperation becomes self reliance. And Lobetto performs his despicable duty with a kind of naïve innocence. It’s all he has ever known.

Fox Girl isn’t a preachy tirade aga
Bert Edens
Nov 30, 2011 Bert Edens rated it it was amazing
"Fox Girl" is the second book in Keller's series about Korea, the first being "Comfort Woman".

This story primary centers around Hyun-Jin, a teen growing up in post-Korean War South Korea. She, along with her on-again, off-again friends Sookie and Lobetto survive the best they can in America Town, an area setup to service American G.I.s stationed in their country. Not surprisingly, prostitution plays a central role in this story, and Keller pulls no punches, especially with Hyun-Jin's deflowerin
Devon Aguirre
This book was not a great one. It was slow and uninteresting. The main character was selfish and horrible, which is understandable if it advances the story, but it didn't. The ending was boring and not gratifying.
Jin was really a fox girl. Very selfish character. I think she looked at people as 'what can i get from them/get them to do for me' without seeing them as individuals with their owns lives and troubles. Very cold-blooded. To everyone but Myu Myu.

A plus though is that this book, just as when I had first learned of Ianfu (comfort women) in a SE Asian Studies class, was an eye opener. It's shameful that some of our troops go overseas and act like shameless dogs.
Jun 08, 2011 VeganMedusa rated it really liked it
Shelves: bc-copy, korea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2011 Nikki rated it liked it
This book was easy to read and brought up many important historical events that happened during the Korean War. I have a new perspective and awareness of what it meant to grow up in this environment as an adolescent.
Mar 18, 2011 Chinook rated it really liked it
While I was a little disappointed with Comfort Woman, I loved Fox Girl. It was a fascinating look at Korea and the GIs after the Korean War. It certainly sheds some light on the present situation.

"Chazu said that stuff [cola] rots your teeth. Be healthy, drink beer." ~ Fox Girl
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Fox Girl is a brilliant "awareness novel", transporting the reader to 1960s Korea, where women trapped in a culture of prostitution struggle to survive in "America Town," serving the American soldiers on the local base. Narrated by the teenage Hyun Jin and focusing mainly on herself and friends Sookie and Lobetto, it shows how multiple generations are trapped into a cycle of exploitation, especially children of prostitutes and American soldiers. The characters and their lives are realistic; clea ...more
Jun 06, 2012 Sophie rated it liked it

Interesting intro to the us-korean relations in the 60s. However very graphic scenes which i did not expect. I am interested in the sequel though. But as sookie said, only americans have happy endings.
Jun 26, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this book down. The characterizations Keller created completely captivated me. I missed them after finishing the book.(this is a test of really good fiction to me) Fox Girl is an historical novel based on a subject that is little known to most Americans - the culture surrounding American army bases in post-war Korea,and the mixed race children left behind.
I will now move on to Keller's "Comfort Woman" - her first novel. I hope her third novel is published soon - can't wait to rea
Sep 23, 2013 Suzanne rated it it was ok
Interesting topic about the Korean towns and "businesses" that exist around GI encampments in Korea during the war. Focuses on those multiracial kids that do not really belong either with their maternal Korean heritage or their GI fathers and what they do to survive. Extremely dark and too depressing for me.
Sarah Schantz
Feb 20, 2014 Sarah Schantz rated it it was amazing
I had to take my time with this book. The subject matter is hard. The subject matter is made even harder by the fact I am the mother of a thirteen-year-old girl--a girl who is older than some of the child prostitutes featured in this heart-breaking novel. I took my time with this book, and yet, I never turned away from it, because to do so would be to also turn away from the narrator; somehow I always believed the smart and empathetic Hyun Jin would find a way to survive the brutality of her wor ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Susan rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
One of the hardest novels I've ever read. Please steel yourself before attempting to read this book. I feel that it was definitely worth reading, but I question how prepared I was for many of the scenes.
May 05, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
Just an amazing read. Stark, desolate and yet surrounded by hope and beautiful imagery. This is a fantastic read on the after effects of war, the mixing of populations, cultures and races and situations. A quick read that moves well, staying with one character but giving great insight into the other characters. The writing is just fabulous, and a book I would call a hidden gem.

"Other times, I think the maps of out lives are etched into vein and muscle and one and that mere words -- however inter
Jul 07, 2015 Frances rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, i-quit
I really wanted to take some cultural value from this book, but it was awful. In full disclosure, I quit about 40% into it. It just stayed amorphous for too long, and the gang rape scene seemed gratuitous.
Russell Bittner
Nov 06, 2015 Russell Bittner rated it it was ok
I’m going to have to make an assumption where Fox Girl is concerned – namely, that the apparent success of this novel was due exclusively to the earlier success of Comfort Woman, Nora Okja Keller’s first novel, one portion of which she later titled “Mother Tongue.” That particular portion won her a Pushcart Prize.

There are a few well-executed scenes in this novel, but they are indeed few and far between. Most of the action and dialogue is something I’ll call – for lack of a better word – ‘ji
Nov 24, 2015 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eye opening

This is an excellent book. Fox Girl is set in a vivid, harsh world with a gut wrenching story line to match. It is hard to believe that this is the life many women are still being forced or born into. This book is a difficult glimpse at the darker side of humanity.
Rebecca McNutt
Good story, but this book stopped making sense several times and I didn't really relate well to the characters. It was very Lord of the Flies-esque.
Willette Williams
Apr 16, 2016 Willette Williams rated it it was amazing
Quick read only because you can't put it down. From start to finish you need to know what happens next, so you think one more page, one more chapter. Can't wait to read another title from this author.
Apr 30, 2016 John rated it it was amazing
To preserve her sanity, she has to pretend that her desperate acts were perpetrated by the fox girl masquerading as her.
Andrea Dennison
Oct 04, 2016 Andrea Dennison rated it really liked it
I was medium on this book when I first started, but by the end it managed to charm me. A rather harsh look at the lives people lead when they're trying to survive in horrible circumstances.
Oct 17, 2016 Cliff rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness...this book....
I d
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