Author Iris Chang Dies at 36


2004-11-12
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Author Iris Chang Photo: Jimmy Estimada

WASHINGTON: Best-selling Chinese-American author Iris Chang was found dead in her car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She was 36 and had recently been treated for depression.

Chang, who chronicled the Japanese occupation of China and the history of Chinese U.S. immigrants, achieved celebrity with her first book, The Rape of Nanking . She later published The Chinese in America .

Chang was found on Highway 17 just south of Los Gatos, California. The official cause of death has not been released, but investigators concluded that she shot herself in the head. She lived in San Jose with her husband and young son.

The Rape of Nanking chronicled the rape, torture, and killing of hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers in the former Chinese capital during the 1930s.

She suffered a breakdown during a recent trip researching a book, her former editor and agent Susan Rabiner said. Chang continued to suffer from depression after being released from the hospital, she said.

Chang's husband, Brett Douglas, told the San Jose Mercury News his wife became a changed person after returning from a grueling book tour in April. He said his wife's depression was so serious they sent their 2-year-old son to live with Douglas' father in Illinois.

Source: AP

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