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How to Write a Suicide Note

Serial Essays That Saved a Woman's Life

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; writing has saved her life. Acclaim for "How to Write a Suicide Note" "How to Write a Suicide Note is a haunting portrait of the daughter of an African mother and a Chinese father. Sherry dares to be who she isn't supposed to be, feel what she isn't supposed to feel, and destroys racial and gender myths as she integrates her bi-racial identity into all that she is. Through her raw honesty and vulnerability, Sherry captures a range of emotions most people are afraid to confront, or even share. Her work is a gift to the mental health community." --Beth Kyong Lo, M.A., Psychotherapist "Sherry Quan Lee offers us, in How to Write a Suicide Note, a deep breathing meditation on how love is under continuous revision. And like all the best Blues singers, Quan Lee voices the lowdown, dirty paces that living puts us through, but without regret or surrender." Wesley Brown, author of Darktown Strutters and Tragic Magic "I love the female aspects, the sex, and the strong voice Sherry Quan Lee uses to share her private life in How To Write A Suicide Note. I love the wit, the tongue-in-cheek, the trippiness of it all. I love the metaphors, especially the lover and suicide ones. I love the free-associations, the 'raving, ravenous, relentless' back and forth. Quan Lee breaks the rules and finds her genius. How to Write a Suicide Note is a passionate, risk-taking, outrageous, life-affirming book and love letter." Sharon Doubiago, author of Body and Soul, Hard Country; and other works Learn more about the author at Book #2 in the Reflections of History Series from Modern History Press Modern History Press is an imprint of Loving Healing Press

Thanks to Sharon Doubiago, my Split Rock Arts Program Online Mentoring for
Writers mentor, for her generosity of time and exper‐tise. Thanks to Shay
Youngblood for reading How to Write a Suicide Note and insisting that I find a