Finding Iris Chang

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What to expect

Iris Chang, bestselling author of The Rape of Nanking and tireless human rights activist, symbolized strength to many in the literary and social justice worlds. Her fearlessness made it all the more shocking when she committed suicide in 2004 at age thirty-six.

Longtime friend and confidante Paula Kamen, author of the critically acclaimed All in My Head, reveals for the first time the private woman behind the bold international celebrity. She offers a tribute to the lost heroine while attempting to explain Iris’ tragic psychological decline. Through letters, diaries, her own memories, and investigative journalism, Kamen fills in the surprising gaps in Chang’s personal transformation from awkward teen, to world-class writer and lecturer, and finally, into mental illness and paranoia. Finding Iris Chang is a portrait of a real, vulnerable woman who changed the world.

Critics Review

  • “Narrator Bernadette Dunne demonstrates her mastery of the audio format. Without resorting to accent or artifice she presents each voice distinctly, clearly defining the individual’s personality and emotion. This is an excellent pairing of material and voice artist.”

  • “An important exploration of the fine line between genius and madness that afflicts so many exemplary writers.”

    Library Journal
  • “Kamen dutifully delves into the larger issues of suicide and mental illness in Asian-American communities, and into the peculiar immigrant drive to succeed that seized Chang so forcefully at such a young age…An intriguing portrait of an enormously ambitious woman.”

    Kirkus Reviews
  • “Expose[s] the unique genius and creativity of Chang, the far-reaching effects of her persistent social activism and compassion, and, sadly, the relentless escalation of the bipolar disorder that impelled her to suicide.”

  • “Peels back the layers of a ‘perfect’ life to trace what led to Chang’s carefully plotted suicide…[Kamen] approaches her very interesting subject with clarity, respect and an absence of melodrama.”

    Irish Times
  • “This moving bio searches for answers to author Chang’s 2004 suicide.”

    Entertainment Weekly

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