The Woman Who Could Not Forget Iris Chang Before and Beyond The Rape of Nanking



The Woman Who Could Not Forget
Iris Chang Before and Beyond The Rape of Nanking

A Memoir by Ying-Ying Chang

On November 9th, the world remembers Iris Chang whose work forever changed the way the world views World War II in Asia

Six years ago today, Iris Chang, author of Thread of the Silkworm, The Chinese in America, and the bestselling The Rape of Nanking, tragically ended her own life. Yet it is not how she died, but rather how she lived, that still continues to fascinate and influence the world. Iris’ book The Rape of Nanking shattered preconceived notions about WWII in Asia and brought to light a “Second Holocaust.”

It all began with a photo of a river choked with the bodies of hundreds of Chinese civilians that shook Iris to her core. Who were these people? Why had this happened and how could their story have been lost to history? She could not shake that image from her head. She could not forget what she had seen.

In 1997, Iris revealed this second Holocaust to the world. The Japanese atrocities against the people of Nanking were so extreme that a Nazi party member based in China actually petitioned Hitler to ask the Japanese government to stop the massacre. But who was this woman that single-handedly swept away years of silence, secrecy and shame? What is her story?

Iris’ mother, Ying-Ying, provides an enlightened and nuanced look at her daughter, from Iris’ home-made childhood newspaper, to her early years as a journalist and later, as a promising young historian, her struggles with her son’s autism and her tragic suicide as a result of untested medicinal side-effects.

The Woman Who Could Not Forget cements Iris’ legacy as one of the most extraordinary minds of her generation and reveals the depth and beauty of the bond between mother and daughter.

Pegasus will publish in hardcover in May 2011. Ying-Ying is available for print and radio interviews. Please contact Jessica Case at Pegasus Books,, 212-504-2924 to request a review copy or to schedule an interview.

“In this brave memoir you will share in the celebration of a life, allowing us to experience her presence again. Full of courage and conviction, full of life.” ­–Richard Rhodes

Ying-Ying Chang is the mother of Iris Chang. She has a PhD from Harvard in biochemistry and was a research associate professor of microbiology at University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with her husband, Shau-Jin, a physics professor. She lives in San Jose, California and is on the board of the Iris Change Memorial Fund.

$29.95 • 400 pages • Hardcover • 978-1-60598-172-7 • Biography/Memoir • May 2011

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