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In Pia de Jong’s gorgeous memoir, the author and her husband learn that their newborn Charlotte has incurable leukemia. Instead of opting for high-risk, probably futile treatment, they bring the
baby back to their Amsterdam house and shower her with love. Faith healers and naysayers descend, but there are also friends and a never-give-up doctor by their side. Astonishingly, Charlotte blossoms rather than fades; she’s now a healthy teen. A ravishing reminder of life’s mysteries—and miracles.

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-Petey Greene Eliane
Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

It’s Friday afternoon. Students in various shades of preppy colors are pouring out of the university’s gates for the weekend. The patios in front of the restaurants are buzzing with cocktail chatter; there’s a long line at the movie theater. But I am climbing a rickety staircase in a two-story clapboard building just off Nassau Street. There, amid the disarray in a rabbit warren of small offices, I will talk to two university students who once a week leave their manicured campus to spend a day behind bars tutoring young men and women who are their age but who are held in a nearby prison.

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The Princeton Syndrome

The Princeton Echo

-Princeton Syndrome Eliane
Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

The man who just asked me the way to Einstein’s office suffers from the
Princeton Syndrome, which afflicts its victims with delusions of genius.

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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.

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The Perfect Egg

Thrive Global

-Screen Shot 2017 05 14 At 4 32 28 Pm

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.

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I'm Nobody! Who are you?

US 1 Newspaper

-Emily Dickinson Eliane
Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

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.

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Parting Shot: The Invisibles

The Princeton Echo

-The Invisibles Eliane
Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

Princeton has a large Latino community. But none of the white elite knows their stories, or even their names. These are the invisible Princetonians. How would the town function without them?

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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.

Posted in: Events
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-Science March Eliane
Illustration by Eliane Gerrits

"What will my child’s world look like in 30 years?” That’s the resonant question asked by a speaker at the Mall in Washington at last weekend’s March for Science. She is under a roof. I’m not, and I am drenched. I look around. A girl is wearing a blue poncho on which is written, I wear this because science told me it was going to rain today. Next to me stands a man holding a hand-scrawled sign: Keep the oceans clean. On his chest, wrapped in a yellow towel, a baby licks the rain off his lips.

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Saving Charlotte: A Mother and the Power of Intuition
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