Comfort Woman by Nora Ojka Keller

Comfort Woman
Nora Okja Keller

Published: 1999

Longlisted for the 1999 Women's Prize for Fiction

On the fifth anniversary of my father’s death, my mother confessed to his murder…’

Thus begins Nora Okja Keller’s breathtaking first novel, which follows Beccah, a young Korean- American girl growing up in Hawaii, as she uncovers the dark secrets of her mother’s dislocated past. From being sold into prostitution in the Japanese ‘recreation camps’ of World War II to the death of her first child and her unhappy marriage to an American missionary; Beccah understands why her mother lives in a spirit world she cannot share, and that clearly marks her as ‘other’.

Powerful and lucid, Keller beautifully explores the depths of anguish and love that exist in the universally complicated relationship of mother and daughter.


Love Books?

Join our 16 million-strong community of book lovers.

  • Get weekly book recommendations
  • Event news
  • Writing tips and inspiration
  • First-hand updates on the Prizes
  • Insider community updates & more

Your information will only be used to subscribe to the Women's Prize newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.