Analysis: News Obituary

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The New York Times reported today that Han Suyin, a prolific Eurasian author most remembered for her best-selling semi-autobiography that inspired the 1955 film, "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing," died Nov. 2 at the age of 95.

The author of the piece chose a standard obituary lead over an alternative one. It included her name, her major achievements, where she died and her age.

Given the large amount of information included in the obituary, the author most likely didn't attribute all of her sources, but a few were mentioned. Han's daughter Yung Mei Tang is attributed for confirming her mother's death. The author sourced a quote by Han to the Washington Post in 1982. Hailin Zhou, a professor at Villanova University's Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies, said a few words about Han's influence as a writer, and the author included a quote from a Time magazine review of Han's work in 1956.

Dr. Han published about two dozen novels, nonfiction books and memoirs, and countless essays during a time period spanning World War II, China's revolution, the Korean War and the rise of communism and the fall of colonialism in East Asia. Dr. Han's works were often set "against the backdrop of historical and generational upheaval in Asia," the Times wrote. She helped Western audiences understand the political and social developments of the East.

The most well-known product of Dr. Han's achievements is the 1955 film adaption, "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing," which featured two of the biggest Hollywood stars, William Holden and Jennifer Jones. The film included an Oscar-winning theme song and later spawned a daytime TV soap opera in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The obituary differs from a resume because it tells the story of the person's life. It includes personal details instead of only a job history and notable achievements. It also includes the negatives or the struggles in the person's life, not just the highlights.

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This page contains a single entry by radi0039 published on November 4, 2012 11:51 PM.

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