Fox Girl by Nora Okja Keller

October 3, 2008

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.