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Chang, Iris 1968-2004

CHANG, Iris 1968-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born March 28, 1968, in Princeton, NJ; died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound November 9, 2004, near Los Gatos, CA. Activist and author. Chang is best remembered as the author of The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II (1997). After completing her B.A. in journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989, she worked briefly for the Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press. She then went back to school, receiving her master's degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1991. Chang's first book was the nonfiction Thread of the Silkworm (1995), but critical acclaim came with her second title, The Rape of Nanking. Chang spent two years researching the book after learning from her family that her grandparents survived the 1937 event in which, as the author reported, hundreds of thousands of Chinese were tortured, raped, and murdered by occupying Japanese forces. The book became a bestseller, earned the respect of contemporary historians, and spurred Chang's work as a social and civil rights activist. In 2003, she released The Chinese in America: A Narrative History, but while researching her fourth book, which concerned U.S. prisoners of war in the Philippines during World War II, Chang suffered a profound emotional breakdown. She was hospitalized for several months, but apparently not cured of her depression. Her body was found in her car along a highway near Los Gatos, California, where police speculated that the author shot herself.


OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Chicago Tribune, November 11, 2004, section 3, p. 11.

Los Angeles Times, November 11, 2004, p. B11.

New York Times, November 12, 2004, p. C9.

Times (London, England), November 15, 2004, p. 54.

Washington Post, November 12, 2004, p. B6.

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