Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-8471-4 • Hardback • November 2016 • $122.00 • (£94.00)
978-1-4985-2503-9 • Paperback • August 2018 • $54.99 • (£42.00)
978-0-7391-8472-1 • eBook • October 2016 • $49.00 • (£38.00)
Nan Kim is associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Chapter 1: Historicizing Korea’s Geopolitical Liminality
Chapter 2: Fateful Passages, In-Between States
Chapter 3: Anti-Commemorations
Chapter 4: Threshold Rituals of Reconciliation
Chapter 5: Impossible Returns
Chapter 6: Ethical Traversals
Conclusion: Meeting with the Past
Epilogue: The Afterlife of Division
This is the finest book I know on the intricate politics and social situation of Korean separated families. Relying ably on a mix of historical and ethnographic methods, and drawing on perspectives ranging from psychoanalytic treatments of mourning to ritual theory, Kim moves from the origins of family separation before and during the Korean War and the political classifications it entailed to various attempts to reunite such families across the North-South divide. The book culminates with an on-the-spot examination of the series of reunions that began in the year 2000, at a moment of hope for broader inter-Korean rapprochement, which Kim persuasively argues was also a crucial event in the reckoning of national kinship. In turns critical, analytically innovative, and moving, Kim’s work deserves to be read by every student of the modern Koreas.
— Robert Oppenheim, University of Texas at Austin
Nan Kim's study of the place and significance of reunions of Korean families still divided by the never ending Korean War is nothing less than subtle majesty. Professor Kim interrogates the political whys and hows involved in these heavily publicized moments with deep sensitivity to the painfully lived and physically embodied reality of division for these families. She raises, moreover, the disturbing truth that many of these reunions have 'unsettled' the meaning of war death on both sides of the 38 parallel with family members long mourned as dead suddenly alive and on the other side. Her message is profoundly disquieting; her prose is elegant and clear.
— Alexis Dudden, University of Connecticut