Sunday, November 14, 2004

 

Acclaimed historian Iris Chang commits suicide

Iris Chang was one of my favorite authors. Her book The Rape of Nanking is a definitive text on the horrors that happened in that city during World War II. She had apparently recently visited Abu Ghraib prison in the hopes of writing a book.

Chinese American author Iris Chang found shot to death
Fri Nov 12, 9:37 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) - Acclaimed Chinese-American historical author Iris Chang has been found dead in her car, apparently after shooting herself, police sources said.

The 36-year-old writer and journalist, who chronicled the rape and massacre of thousands of Chinese civilians at the hands of Japanese troops before World War II, was found in her car on Tuesday near the town of Los Gatos, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of San Francisco.

"The body of Iris Chang was found near Highway 17, south of Los Gatos yesterday," a Santa Clara Country coroner's office official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Police sources said Chang apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after driving herself to an isolated spot near the small town. She was discovered by a motorist who alerted authorities.

Officials stressed however that no official cause of death had yet been established. Chang was seen as a leading US non-fiction author and was widely known here and in Asia for her studies of Chinese immigrants and their descendants in the United States.

"The Chinese in America: A Narrative History," was published last year and traces more than 150 years of Asian American history.

But her best-known book was the haunting 1997 book, "The Rape of Nanking," which details the slaughter of Chinese civilians by the Imperial Japanese army that occupied China in the late 1930s.

It was the first major full-length English-language account of the atrocity and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for months.

A former newswire reporter, Chang was born in Princeton in the eastern state of New Jersey and lived in San Jose, California, northeast of Los Gatos.

Yahoo! News - Chinese American author Iris Chang found shot to death

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