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Tue, Jul 18, 2017 6:30pm –


New York Public Library: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
5th Avenue 42nd
New York  New York  10036
United States

Wachenheim Trustees Room

New York Public Library

Saving Charlotte: Pia de Jong in conversation with William P. Kelly

In her new memoir, Saving Charlotte, best-selling novelist Pia de Jong chronicles the unspeakable reality of grappling with the illness of her newborn daughter. She will discuss the book with William P. Kelly, The New York Public Library’s Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Research Libraries.

Pia de Jong is a prize-winning literary novelist and newspaper columnist who moved to the U.S. from Amsterdam in 2012. Saving Charlotte: A Mother and the Power of Intuition, is her first book in English.

When her first daughter, Charlotte, was born, it was immediately clear that something was wrong—she was covered in blue spots that turned out to be tumors. Charlotte was diagnosed with congenital myeloid leukemia, and the doctors told Pia and her husband, Robbert, to prepare for the worst—and soon. The family made a momentous decision: to reject potentially devastating chemotherapy and instead choose to “wait for what will come.” In the intervening year, the family found themselves in a waking nightmare: receiving visitors who somehow found a way to make them feel worse, getting countless recommendations for quack remedies, trying to find the words to prepare Charlotte’s brothers for her death, shopping for a grave to hold a baby.