Join us for a reading and discussion with best-selling author Pia de Jong in honor of the publication of her vivid memoir about her newborn daughter’s battle with leukemia and the startling decision that led to her recovery.
On a still summer night in a seventeenth-century canal house in Amsterdam’s old quarter, Pia de Jong gives birth to a delicate, bright-eyed baby girl with a riddle on her back—a pale blue spot that soon multiplies. In a bare, air-conditioned hospital room, a doctor reveals the devastating answer: it is a rare and deadly form of leukemia, often treated with chemotherapy, a cure nearly as dangerous to a newborn as the disease itself.
Pia and her husband Robbert make an intuitive decision. They do not subject Charlotte to chemotherapy; they bring her home. They transform their canal house into a sanctuary where Charlotte can live surrounded by love and strength, where Pia can give her a chance to live. In return, Charlotte gives her mother the greatest gift of all: purpose.
Saving Charlotte is the story of a daughter’s fight to survive, and of a mother’s fight to live a life of passion and meaning alongside her.
Pia de Jong is a prize-winning novelist and newspaper columnists from the Netherlands. Saving Charlotte is her first book in English.
Co-sponsored by the Ferris Seminars in Journalism at the Humanities Council of Princeton