Lara's Reviews > The Woman Who Could Not Forget: Iris Chang Before and Beyond The Rape of Nanking: A Memoir

The Woman Who Could Not Forget by Ying-Ying Chang
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Overall, I think it was a reasonable biography of Iris Chang, as an author and her relationship with her parents. I felt that it was in a way just finely focused on her getting to her writing career. It was one sided in the sense that her mother wrote the book, so overall, I don't think she had a reasonable distance or subjective view on her life. On that same note, it did provide more of a personal insight into some of her daily life, that I don't think would have been added had it been another author.

The book however, left me wanting more. There were some details I felt the mother just seemed so focused on that didn't really properly seem to keep the book going (i.e. details about materials bought for birthday parties and such). The relationship with her brother and husband seemed to be put on the back burner, which was a shame. They were included in the book but not nearly to the extent that I think they had in her life. I would have liked to know more about her relationship with her brother, as well as with her husband.

The book certainly did provide some interesting insight into the research and work that goes into writing a book and the toll it takes on a family. Provided some interesting backstory to what she did write.
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Reading Progress

January 9, 2012 – Shelved
January 25, 2012 – Started Reading
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: autobiography
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: biography
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: books-i-read-on-my-2011-2012-break
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: china-related-issues
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: chinese-history
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: daily-life-in-china
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: development-of-china
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: japan
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: personal-narrative
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: personal-struggle
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: books-i-got-from-the-library
January 25, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012-reads
January 25, 2012 –
page 50
12.5% "The sentence structure in this book certainly makes it easier to read than many other biographies, and part of me wants to attribute that to the fact that English wasn't her first language. It flows, but it's just very formal, and the word choice is very much like the Chinese word choice, who learn English. I probably will read snippets of the book, but overall it seems like it's going to be a quick read, we'll see"
January 30, 2012 –
page 290
January 31, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2)

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message 2: by Overbylass (new) - added it

Overbylass I must admit I didn't really know much about Nanking until it was mentioned in the book I am currently reading. I will look this book up and add it to my list

Lara That's the problem. Most people don't know much about China, or the Nanjing massacre. I learned more about it when I was in China. I've read bits and pieces of Iris Chang's book. Should finish off the book by tomorrow.

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