Finding Iris Chang: Friendship, Ambition, and the Loss of an Extraordinary Mind

By Paula Kamen
Read by Bernadette Dunne

10.88 Hours 11/09/2007 unabridged
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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.

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Summary

Summary

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“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
“Examines the link between madness and genius…Finding Iris Chang gives us an appreciation of what was lost when we lost Iris Chang.” The Asian Reporter
“Engaging on multiple levels…Engrossing and will inspire readers not familiar with Chang’s work to read her books…Would be an appropriate addition to courses in journalism, history, psychology, and women’s studies.” MultiCultural Review
“A multi-faceted exploration of her friend’s life and death. It does more than shed light on a complex woman, activist and journalist; it also places Chang’s struggles in the context of the secondary trauma experienced by journalists, artists and activists who seek to unearth and confront ugly truths.” In These Times
“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.” AudioFile
“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.” BookPage
“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

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Paula Kamen

Paula Kamen is a Chicago journalist, author, and visiting research scholar with Northwestern University. Her commentaries and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, Ms, Chicago Tribune, In These Times, and numerous anthologies.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 10.88
Audience: Adult
Language: English