From the Editor
“I didn’t know Kate Spade, who hanged herself with a red scarf in her bedroom on Tuesday at the age of 55, other than through the prism of her insistently cheerful and whimsical accessories. But everything about Ms. Spade and her designs suggested a sunny temperament, from her candy-colored aesthetic to the perky image she projected. We have a hard time squaring a seemingly successful woman — one with a highflying career, a family and heaps of money — with a despondency so insinuating that it led her to end it all. All this helps explain why Fern Mallis, the former director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and a friend of Ms. Spade’s, called her death ‘so out of character.’ In fact, it turned out that the bubbly girl from Kansas City ‘suffered from depression and anxiety for many years,’ as her husband, Andy, said.”
So writes novelist Daphne Merkin The New York Times. In the essay, Merkin writes about her depression and her own suicidal thoughts.
Kate Spade. Then Anthony Bourdain.
It’s been a remarkable few days.
Anthony Bourdain with President Barack Obama
In this Reading, we look at the new CDC report on suicide in the United States. Suicide rates south of the 49thparallel have risen nearly 30% since 1999. We consider the paper and its implications.