Sat, Apr 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Young writer dies in an apparent suicide: police

DEPRESSION?The writer’s parents said that she was recounting her own experience when she wrote a novel about a young girl who was raped by her teacher

Staff writer, with CNA

A young writer who died on Thursday is pictured in a bookstore in an undated photo.

Screengrab from Facebook

A promising writer has died at the age of 26 in an apparent suicide, authorities said yesterday.

The Taipei Fire Department said it received a call on Thursday that a woman had hanged herself in her home in Taipei.

The woman’s name is being withheld to protect her identity.

Police said the woman was a writer, who had been open about her depression and past attempts to take her own life.

They said a suicide note was found at the scene and an initial investigation has ruled out foul play.

A report by the Chinese-language United Daily News quoted the woman’s husband as saying that she had hanged herself in her bedroom and showed no signs of life when he found her.

In a statement released yesterday on the Facebook page of her publisher, Guerrilla Publishing, her parents said that what happened to the protagonist in her debut novel was actually her own experience.

The novel, published in February, is about a young girl who was raped by her teacher.

The writer’s parents said they believed an incident that occurred eight or nine years ago — and not depression — was the main cause of their daughter’s pain and nightmares.

She wrote the book because she hoped there would never be another victim like the protagonist in her book, the statement said.

Born into a well-known dermatologist’s family in Tainan in 1991, the writer was diagnosed with depression when she was a teenager.

She received a perfect score in the college entrance examination in 2009 and was admitted to a medical university.

However, she dropped out after two weeks and retook the college entrance examination, switching her major to Chinese literature.

Because of depression, she was unable to finish university, dropping out again in her junior year.

“I often suffer from mental illness episodes that prevent me from attending school. For a long time I felt inferior,” she once said in an interview.

In the author’s biography section of her book, the writer introduced herself as someone with not much professional or academic experience.

“Out of all my identities, I am most accustomed to my role as a mentally ill patient. My dream is to write novels, and like what Kenzaburo Oe said, advance myself from a mere reader of books, to a person of culture, to an intellectual,” she wrote.

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said that if the writer’s family wishes to press rape charges, the office will handle the matter according to the law.

A senior prosecutor said the office could initiate a probe if her family presses charges and provides information and evidence, such as the suspect’s name, and the time and location of the alleged crime.

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