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photo by Mariel Kolmschot

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

Saving Charlotte: A Mother and the Power of Intuition

Best-selling author Pia de Jong’s vivid memoir about her newborn daughter’s battle with leukemia and the startling decision that led to her recovery.

Video: Pia de Jong talks about the amazing story behind “Saving Charlotte”

When her newborn daughter Charlotte is diagnosed with a rare and deadly leukemia, Pia and her husband Robbert make a momentous decision: they reject potentially devastating chemotherapy and instead choose to “wait for what will come.” As the following year unfolds, Pia enters a disorienting world of doctors, medical procedures, and a colorful cast of neighbors and protectors in her native Amsterdam. Her seventeenth-century canal house becomes her inner sanctum, a private “cocoon” where she sweeps away distractions in order to give Charlotte the unfiltered love and strength she needs. Pia’s instinctive decision, now known as “watchful waiting,” has become another viable medical option in many cases like Charlotte’s.

This deeply felt memoir reveals the galvanizing impact one child can have on a family, a neighborhood, and a worldwide medical community. Vivid and immersive, Saving Charlotte is also a portrait of one woman’s brave voyage of love, of hope, and, in its inspiring climax, of self-discovery.

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The Future of Books

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Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

The Future of Books

US 1 Newspaper, 16 August 2017

As I walk into the new Amazon bookstore that just opened on Columbus Circle in Manhattan, I have a disorienting feeling that I have not entered a bookstore but rather fallen into the world of my computer screen. Like a cyber version of Alice tumbling into her rabbit hole, I have fallen into a worm hole that takes me into a bricks-and-mortar version of Amazon’s website.

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I was a romantic girl, who loved to read… but my father’s idea of raising me was to build my confidence by taking me on real-life adventures to faraway places that were not  even on the map. When I was fourteen, I walked six weeks in Lapland, encountering only gold prospectors and reindeer.  We got lost and our food supply ran out. I wrote a book about this vacation that, miraculously, had a happy ending.
Read more: http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/pia-de-jong-saving-charlotte-1080045.html#ixzz4q33hpspj

T2 Of Pia And Charlotte
Photo by Christopher Lane

Seventeen years ago, in the middle of the hot Amsterdam summer of 2000, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I delivered her at home, on the top floor of our canal house. We called her Charlotte, a bold name whose confidence seemed to fit her just right, even though she still looked as fragile as a sea shell.

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Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

"Think of her as the Girl Next Door, a blue-eyed blonde with a peaches and Devonshire cream complexion.” Those are the first words ever to appear in People magazine about Princess Diana — back in February 1981 when she was still Lady Diana Spencer. Over the next 16 years this dewy eyed schoolteacher would become the most famous woman in the world — the
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Cover Of Us 1

‘I hope the quota for dead children has been reached. That death has claimed enough of them.”

 The words belong to Dutch-born Princeton novelist and essayist Pia de Jong.They were what she had hoped for on the day she went to purchase a gravesite for her newborn daughter. Now they appear in de Jong’s just released book, “Saving Charlotte: A Mother and the Power of Intuition.”

“I started writing (the book) with the scene of the grave,” de Jong says about her 255-page personal account of discovering her daughter, Charlotte, had congenital myeloid leukemia — a disease without any cure —and the decision to spare the infant from the debilitating effects of chemotherapy and “wait for what will come.” What came was the body’s ability to fight off the disease.