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.

More about Saving Charlotte

Now Available for Pre-order

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Pub Date: July 11, 2017
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On a still summer night 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. Soon, 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 decide not to subject Charlotte to chemotherapy. Instead, they transform their canal house into a sanctuary where Charlotte can live surrounded by love, where Pia can give her a chance to live. In return, Charlotte gives her mother the greatest gift of all: purpose.

The Perfect Egg

Thrive Global

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The Perfect Egg

Thrive Global

Every morning at breakfast, ever since the day she first started using sentences with a verb, my daughter has told me her dreams. Breakfast is always an egg, cooked to her preference of six-and-one-half minutes. That is, if the egg has been out of the refrigerator long enough. If I forget to take the egg out the night before, I try to gauge the extra twenty seconds it needs to get it just the way she likes.

I'm Nobody! Who are you?

US 1 Newspaper

Emily Dickinson Eliane
Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

I'm Nobody! Who are you?

US 1 Newspaper

The exhibition I’m Nobody! Who are you? about the poet Emily Dickinson in the New York Morgan Library is deceptively simple. In just a few steps you can cross the small room that contains it. But this is an exhibition that slows down space and time. Just like her poems.

Sally And Pia

Pia de Jong is a well-known Dutch writer, now living in Princeton and writing for appreciative readers here in the United States. Her acclaimed family memoir, Saving Charlotte, tells of her newborn daughter’s battle with leukemia and the startling decision that led to recovery. De Jong will be in conversation with Sally Magnusson about their shared experience of writing intimate memoirs of family life and illness, and how their stories have had a far-wider impact.