I feel a further note is due for the US historian and writer, Iris Chang. Born in New Jersey in 1968, Iris trained as a journalist but left journalism to begin her own writing career. In 1997, her history of the Japanese army's fantastically brutal and genocidal destruction of the Nanking area in China in 1937, The Rape of Nanking, became an international bestseller and revived interest in, and controversy over, a crime against humanity that was terrible even by 20th century standards. Last year she published a history of Chinese immigrants in the US, 'The Chinese in America', another neglected story worthy of attention.
Iris suffered a breakdown while on a recent research trip in the Philippines and was hospitalised. Sadly, she did not recover from her depression and on November 11th, she was found in a car on a highway near Los Gatos, California, having shot herself in the head. She was 36. A friend said of her, "She felt other people's suffering to the point that it made her suffer."
Friday, December 10, 2004
Tribute to Iris Chang
Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking, died last month. Alex Higgins has posted a brief tribute on his superb Bring on the Revolution blog. As usual when I quote from him, I reproduce the whole thing here because on Alex's blog you have to scroll a lot to find it.