The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After
A rare and inspiring memoir by a young mother with Stage IV metastatic cancer that challenges the pieties with which we usually write and talk about death, and serves as a guide not just through the ordeal of disease, but through the universal experience of struggle. Born blind i... read full description below.
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|Library of Congress
||Vietnamese Americans, Autobiographies, Terminally ill - United States, Colon (Anatomy) - Cancer - Patients - United States, Yip-Williams, Julie
Description of this Book
A rare and inspiring memoir by a young mother with Stage IV metastatic cancer that challenges the pieties with which we usually write and talk about death, and serves as a guide not just through the ordeal of disease, but through the universal experience of struggle. Born blind in Vietnam, Julie Yip-Williams narrowly escaped euthanasia by her grandmother, only to then flee the political upheaval of the late 1970s with her family. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon at UCLA gave her partial sight. Against all odds, she became a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, a life. Then, at age thirty-seven, with two little girls at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began. The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life refracted through the prism of imminent death. Motherhood, marriage, ambition, love, wanderlust, tennis, grief, jealousy, anger, comfort, pain, disease--there is simply nothing this book is not about. Growing out of a blog Julie has kept through the past four years of her life (undertaken because she couldn't find the guidance she needed through her disease), this is the story of a life lived so well, and cut too short. It is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. It is a book of indelible moments, seared deep. With glorious humor, beautiful and bracing honesty, and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, Julie Yip-Williams has set the stage for her lasting legacy and one final miracle: the story of her life.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||Julie Yip-Williams lived a life defined by effort and incredible self-reliance. But in this searing memoir of increasing vulnerability, she dismantles and then reconstructs what it means to be triumphant. Her writing examines not only her disability and illness--and their cultural, medical, and narrative constructs--but love, authenticity, hope, egotism, even rage. I didn't know Julie, but in these pages, I grew to love her. --Lucy Kalanithi [When] Yip-Williams was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at the age of thirty-seven in 2013, she decided to write her story, which resulted in this inspiring and remarkable work that chronicles her immigration to the U.S. and her final five years. . . . [Her] wise and moving account of her battle with cancer is an extraordinary call to live wholeheartedly. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Julie Yip-Williams died in March 2018 of colon cancer. She was born in Tam-Ky, Vietnam, just as the war was ending, grew up in Monterey Park, California, and graduated from Williams College and Harvard Law School. At her death she was forty-two, and lived in Brooklyn with her husband, Josh, and their daughters, Mia and Isabelle.