Suicide and Writing

Oh. My. God. I just learned that someone I knew from my high school committed suicide. My high school was a laboratory school, 250 kids across five years. Class sizes were around 50 kids. Everyone knew everyone.

Iris Chang was an upperclassman, but I’d known and talked to her. Our parents knew each other as well. She was also an award-winning and best-selling writer. She wrote The Rape of Nanking, the chronicle of the Japanese occupation of China as well as a bunch of other historical Chinese-culture books. She was thirty-six. She was found in her car, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to her head. I’m in a state of shock.

gannet, you’re probably the only person on my friends list who knew her too. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the link to the memorial on Uni’s website.

Writing Stuff:

My excerpt “The Adventures of Trina, Hackersprite” is now up at the Eggplant Literary Productions Library. Click on the cover art to read it:

And the cover for the Embark to Madness anthology has been unveiled:

Words: 2.4K. This story’s nearly done. I jumped ahead and wrote the denouement and conclusion. The only thing left is a page or two of climax. Then, of course, there’s much polishing and shining that needs doing. Definitely a novelette here. I’m cresting toward 10K words (manuscript count). I suspect I can get that down some in the rewrite.

Now how do I count rewriting into the Club 100 figures? I really think rewriting should count. Perhaps two passes equals 100 words?

Club 100 for Writers

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18 Responses to Suicide and Writing

  1. britzkrieg says:

    When I read about Iris Chang in the news, I wondered if you might have known her. But then I thought, nah, Champaign-Urbana is a big place. Wow. This is terrible. She was so talented!

    This must be a real kick in the gut for you… but I envy you for having known someone as gifted as she was. My condolences!

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I’m still totally shocked by it. I mean, I didn’t know her particularly well, but I did know her. And I had no idea she suffered from such severe depression. She was so talented and had such incredible passion and vision! Wow.

  2. cussedness says:

    That is such a tragedy.

  3. horrordiva says:

    Sorry for the loss…I read about it and thought it was a shame…seems like she’s done a lot of good with the things she has written…educated people…much too young.

  4. fenrah says:

    Eugie, I’m truly horrified. _The Rape of Nanking_ was an excellent book (aweful stuff, but excellent research and writing). I read it last year and so did my Mom and Dad. I actually used the book earlier this year in a presentation in one of my nursing classes–talking about the doctors and nurses who stayed behind to help people during the sack of the city. We were supposed to do a presentation on nursing heros…

    B/c I’d spent a year in Taiwan, I have a lot of interest in Chinese history and the shaping their mindset. That’s fascinating that Iris was a classmate of yours. I am deeply sad that she died. She had a true tallent and stories to tell. I know she made a lot of enemies with that book. I don’t suppose… I mean, they are calling it suicide for sure? Ugh. Horrible.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I don’t suppose… I mean, they are calling it suicide for sure?

      This was brought up in some other forums. She did have a lot of enemies. But apparently she left a suicide note for her family, which is a pretty good indication that there wasn’t any foul play. Plus she had been recently hospitalized for a breakdown.

  5. dean13 says:

    Iris Chang

    Wow. It is bone shaking when someone you know dies. And even more jarring when it is by suicide.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Re: Iris Chang

      When I first read the news I couldn’t believe it. Had to read it a couple more times for it to sink in. The last I’d heard of her, she’d been coasting the international best-seller lists and wracking up gobs of acclaim and praise. I had no idea she suffered from depression. So very tragic.

  6. ex_debgirl0 says:

    I read about her death yesterday on CNN. I’m so sorry to hear about that.

  7. Wow. I’d been hearing aabout this book and incident for a while now, but hadn’t realized you’d known the author. I’ll have to read the book some time. Meanwhile though I’m sorry you have this loss to deal with. 🙁

  8. dungeoneer says:

    Just read about her death on Metro. Very sad news.

  9. Oh my gosh, Eugie, that is so sad.


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