Historian’s Death Hits Close to Home

The news of Iris Chang’s apparent suicide was devastating (Obituary, Nov. 11). We cannot imagine the terrible and life- altering effects on her husband, child and the rest of her family, but we can appreciate the awful loss to the world of this valiant, brilliant young historian and author.

She sought to tell the truth to a world only too eager to forget or erase the painful lessons of human cruelty and violence. She established a lasting memorial to the innocent victims of war in her bestselling “The Rape of Nanking,” and confronted the blinkered Japanese establishment publicly and courageously.

It appears she succumbed to depression, that silent and deadly mental illness -- a disorder I, and millions worldwide, have suffered. I was lucky and survived. I can only hope that her death will help rouse the public to demand more attention and better treatment for the victims of this common and disastrous affliction.

Eric Johnson


San Pedro


From time to time, it has been China’s good fortune to have an exceptional daughter. Iris Chang was the Hua Mulan of today. She fought for truth with extraordinary courage and singular purpose. Iris was our good fortune. Rest well, dear daughter, may all your dreams be sweet.

Louise Su Tang