Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain

My extended family has had its share of hard things to deal with, but as far as I know, never a suicide. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were celebrities, people who appeared to have unlimited public success. Both had young children who will be affected forever by the manner of these deaths.

Here, by the daughter of a man who killed himself, is a raw first person account of what suicide does to those who remain.


I’m not a fashionista, and have never owned a Kate Spade handbag. I didn’t usually watch Bourdain’s CNN show, Parts Unknown. But I feel surprisingly sad. Among the many reflections on these deaths is one in the New Yorker by Andrew Solomon. Perceptively, Solomon says “…the gap between public triumph and private despair is treacherous.” 


2 thoughts on “Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain

  1. I liked the joy and freshness of Kate Spade’s handbags, although I never owned one. But I loved Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown show – the places he went and the varieties of food he ate. But most of all his humanity and willingness to look at the background, the cultures, and the politics of the places he went – from West VA to Iran. One of my all-time favorite shows of his was in bayou/cajun Louisiana with a group of people who hunted everything from nutria to wild hogs, and knew how to cook them in such a tasty way. (It may have been a show on a prior series) He entered into the process and had a the greatest time with them. Last night I watched some re-runs on CNN, and realized again how much he spoke about his own life, both the ups and downs. I’m sad too, for the pain of Spade and Bourdain and will miss the presence of them both.

  2. for Phyllis: I’d like to think that people like Spade and Bourdain who are gifted with such talent manage to skate past the dark places, but that’s clearly not so. I did watch Parts Unknown occasionally, and I too saw Bourdain sit comfortably and happily with people who cooked and served the darndest things. There was apparently nothing he wouldn’t try once, and I admire that. I might have passed on the nutria.

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