Commentary on the Birds
Author: Jed Munson
Publisher: Rescue Press (2023)
In his debut collection of essays, Jed Munson excavates the geopolitical reality and symbolic weight of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Drawing on his time as a Fulbright scholar, Munson explores the ecology of the DMZ—the cranes who live there and cross borders that remain deadly to humans—and the artwork that grapples with this inaccessible but calamitous place, a site of perpetual encounter and impasse. This book combines text and image, stories of trail-walking and of illness, and the author's reflections on diasporic identity as a biracial Korean American. The result is a deeply moving work of memoir, cultural criticism, and ecological thinking for our time.
"Commentary on the Birds is an eco-geopolitical hybrid narrative created from Jed Munson's field work, field notes, criticism, and memoir. As a biracial Korean American, Munson's navigation route to and from the DMZ on the Korean peninsula is often disjointed and disparate, yet such migratory pattern may be one of many identities and languages of diaspora itself. This brilliant book can also be read as a field guide to seeking and observing diasporic self and birds."
—Don Mee Choi