Written by the mother of famed historian Iris Chang, The Woman Who Could Not Forget chronicles the life and relationships of the woman who showed the world the atrocities committed by the Japanese military. Chang's memoir is heart wrenching and beautiful. Emily Zeller's performance accentuates the close familial connections that run through this narrative. Zeller shows great depth; her clear and relatable tone helps illuminate the darkest parts of history and the woman who was brave enough to investigate them.
A moving and illuminating memoir about the life of world-famous author and historian Iris ChangIris Chang's best-selling book, The Rape of Nanking, forever changed the way we view the Second World War in Asia. It all began with a photo of a river choked with the bodies of hundreds of Chinese civilians that shock 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.
A few short years later, Chang revealed this "second Holocaust" to the world. The Japanese atrocities against the people of Nanking were so extreme that Nazi officers 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?
Her mother, Ying-Ying, provides an enlightened and nuanced look at her daughter, from Iris's 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. The Woman Who Could Not Forget cements Iris's legacy as one of the most extraordinary minds of her generation and reveals the depth and beauty of the bond between a mother and daughter.
The Woman Who Could Not Forget won 2012 Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) Awards for Literature in Adult Non-Fiction category.
This is a great, insightful view into the mind and life of a remarkable young student who stumbled onto the thesis most university students only dream of and create a New York Times Best Seller than changed the world's understanding of the horrors of World War II before taking her own life in the aftermath of the incredible controversy and horrific denials resulting from her extraordinary academic research.
She wrote a work that shook the nation of Japan and the top of which is still considered taboo to mention in Japan or around Japanese. While all the world has been deeply aware of the horrors of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union's KGB, the Khmer Rouge, a plethora of South and Central American dictators, without the gift of Iris Chang's admittedly nauseating description of torture so remarkable horrible that it makes uncomfortable reading, the world would have gone blissfully on oblivious to one of the world's more horrid historical elements.
We are all indebted to her. And she and her family paid a dear price for the gem she left humanity. This story tells why and how she endeavored to achieve the dream of so many academicians and authors - to tell a powerful, riveting story that no one could put down.
Great work. Great woman.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about The Woman Who Could Not Forget? What did you like least?
I liked the celebration of their ancestory and her success, a few of the anecdotes about her childhood. She was hard working and rewarded for that. Too much suffering and angst is
what I didn't like. It would be interesting if she could have written her own life story.Very depressing for me.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
There was an end?
What didn’t you like about Emily Zeller’s performance?
The voice changes.
Was The Woman Who Could Not Forget worth the listening time?
No, it went on and on about her unhappinesses.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful