'The Rape of Nanking' female author commited suicide
Acclaimed Chinese-American historical author Iris Chang has been found dead in her car, apparently after shooting herself, police sources said.
"The body of Iris Chang was found near Highway 17, south of Los Gatos yesterday," a Santa Clara Country coroner's office official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Officials stressed however that no official cause of death had yet been established.
Chang was seen as a leading US non-fiction author and was widely known here and in Asia for her studies of Chinese immigrants and their descendants in the United States.
"The Chinese in America: A Narrative History," was published last year and traces more than 150 years of Asian American history.
But her best-known book was the haunting 1997 book, "The Rape of Nanking," which details the slaughter of Chinese civilians by the Imperial Japanese army that occupied China in the late 1930s.
It was the first major full-length English-language account of the atrocity and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for months.
A former newswire reporter, Chang was born in Princeton in the eastern state of New Jersey and lived in San Jose, California, northeast of Los Gatos.