Finding Iris Chang
Friendship, Ambition, and the Loss of an Extraordinary Mind
By Paula Kamen
(Da Capo Press, Paperback, 9780306817533, 304pp.)
Publication Date: January 2009
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Iris Chang’s mysterious suicide in 2004, at age thirty-six, didn’t seem to make any sense. She had so much to live for, including fame, fortune, beauty, and a husband and child. Some even wondered if the controversial author of The Rape of Nanking had been murdered. Longtime friend Paula Kamen was among those left wondering what had gone so wrong.
Seeking to reconcile the suicide with the image of Chang’s perfect” life, Kamen searched her memory and scoured Chang’s letters and diaries to fill in the gaps of Chang’s personal transformationfrom ex-shy person” to world-class speaker and international rights pioneerand her later decline into mental illness. The result is a riveting narrative that is part detective story, part psychological drama, part homage to a friend” (Helen Zia).
Paula Kamen is the author of All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable, and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache. She lives in Chicago.