An utterly original and illuminating work that meets at the
crossroads of autobiography and ethnography to re-examine violence
and memory through the eyes of a child.
Like a Child is a deeply moving narrative that showcases an
unexpected voice from an established researcher. Through an
unwavering commitment to a child’s perspective, Clara Han explores
how the catastrophic event of the Korean War is dispersed into
domestic life. Han writes from inside her childhood memories as the
daughter of parents who were displaced by war, who fled from the
North to the South of Korea, and whose displacement in Korea and
subsequent migration to the United States implicated the fraying and
suppression of kinship relations and the Korean language. At the same
time, Han writes as an anthropologist whose fieldwork has taken her
to the devastated worlds of her parents—to Korea and to the Korean
language—allowing her, as she explains, to find and found kinship
relationships that had been suppressed or broken in war and illness.
A fascinating counterpoint to the project of testimony that seeks to
transmit a narrative of the event to future generations, Seeing
Like a Child sees the inheritance of familial memories of
violence as embedded in how the child inhabits her everyday life.
Like a Child offers readers a unique experience—an intimate
engagement with the emotional reality of migration and the
inheritance of mass displacement and death—inviting us to explore
categories such as “catastrophe,” “war,” “violence,” and
“kinship” in a brand-new light.