How to Write a Suicide Note: Serial Essays That Saved a Woman's Life, Sherry Quan Lee
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   How to Write a Suicide Note: Serial Essays That Saved a Woman's Life - Price: $16.95    

by Sherry Quan Lee, ISBN: 978-1-932690-63-7
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“How to Write a Suicide Note” examines the life of a Chinese/Black woman who grew up passing for white, who grew up poor, who loves women but has always married white men. Writing has saved her life. It has allowed her to name the historical trauma--the racist, sexist, classist experiences that have kept her from being fully alive, that have screamed at her loudly and consistently that she was no good, and would never be any good-and that no one could love her. Writing has given her the creative power to name the experiences that dictated who she was, even before she was born, and write notes to them, suicide notes. Sherry Quan Lee believes writing saves lives.
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Biography :

SHERRY QUAN LEE, author of Chinese Blackbird (an underground favorite), Asian American Renaissance, 2002, approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. She is a Distinguished Alumni of North Hennepin Community College. Currently, she is the Program Associate for the Split Rock Arts Program summer workshops and the Online Mentoring for Writers Program at the University of Minnesota where she also earned her MFA in Creative Writing. Recently retired from ten years of teaching Creative Writing at Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Quan Lee facilitates community workshops at Intermedia Arts, and elsewhere. She was a first year, 1996, participant of Cave Canem, a writing retreat for black poets.

Book Review :

"How to Write a Suicide Note," is the second book in the Reflections of America Series. The author Sherry Quan Lee took six years to complete her story. The book consists of a series of poignant essays. Ms. Lee is a Chinese/Black woman. Her father was Chinese and her mother was Black. She developed an identity crisis because she was told to pass herself off as white and if she couldn't do that then she should say she is Chinese. This was to help her be better accepted into society. How sad that was because her Chinese father left the family when she was five, so she wasn't raised as a part of his culture. Her strong mother, who was left to raise five children by herself, did not want her to accept the Black side of her culture. I felt this must have been very damaging because her mother deserved to have her culture acknowledged by her children. This taught Ms. Lee to feel invisible.

She writes that her attempts at suicide were cries to be heard. It also seemed like she was making the attempts to kill parts of herself. When she started writing, she discovered that writing saves lives. It was healing for her to tell her story through her poetry. It is also healing for the people who read Lee's works. The people that can relate to her experiences will find healing in knowing that they are not alone.

"How to Write a Suicide Note" is an excellent reading choice for readers, especially women with multicultural backgrounds.

(Paige Lovitt for Reader Views)

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