Short Story Review: The Contemporary Foxwife by Yoon Ha Lee


Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 94, July 2014

I’m still on the folktale mythical search of short stories and came upon The Contemporary Foxwife by Yoon Ha Lee a few weeks ago.

Yoon Ha Lee is a Korean American who grew up in Houston, Texas and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy. She’s written over 40 short stories, some of which have been published in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed and Clarksworld. She’s adept at weaving meaning into stories and The Contemporary Foxwife is just one example.

The story is a both science fiction and fantasy – a music student on a space station answers the door and finds themselves face to face with a mythical creature that few can see. The creature becomes a live-in maid for Kanseum Ong who has a strained relationship with her father. It’s not until Foxwife disappears does Kanseum realizes how much shes come to rely on him.

It’s a cute story wrapped up in a little neat package with a moral – easy to read and swallow all at once.