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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Not about food again. Sorry.

I woke up this morning to a tragic news.

Iris Chang took her own life this week. The mother of a two year-old and an explorer of evil, she was only 36. She reportedly had been hospitalized for depression while researching her fourth book about the brutality committed on U.S. soldiers by the Japanese army in the Philippines during World War II.

Her first book, The Rape of Nanking, was so carefully researched and such a compelling recount of the atrosity. I read it in one go, one Sunday afternoon -at once rivetted and repelled by it- fearing that had I put the book down, I would not have mustered enough courage to pick it up again.

Facing such unadulterated evil was nearly unbearable simply as a reader, I could hardly imagine what researching and writing about it for years would do to one's psyche.

We have lost a courageous historian and a marvelous writer.

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