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Publisher Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • As a young mother facing a terminal diagnosis, Julie Yip-Williams began to write her story, a story like no other. What began as the chronicle of an imminent and early death became something much more—a powerful exhortation to the living.

“An exquisitely moving portrait of the daily stuff of life.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review Time Real Simple • Good Housekeeping

That Julie Yip-Williams survived infancy was a miracle. Born blind in Vietnam, she narrowly escaped euthanasia at the hands of her grandmother, only to flee with her family the political upheaval of her country in the late 1970s. 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. She would go on to become a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, and a life she had once assumed would be impossible. 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. When she was first diagnosed, Julie Yip-Williams sought clarity and guidance through the experience and, finding none, began to write her way through it—a chronicle that grew beyond her imagining. Motherhood, marriage, the immigrant experience, ambition, love, wanderlust, tennis, fortune-tellers, grief, reincarnation, jealousy, comfort, pain, the marvel of the body in full rebellion—this book is as sprawling and majestic as the life it records. It is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. It is a book of indelible moments, seared deep—an incomparable guide to living vividly by facing hard truths consciously.

With humor, bracing honesty, and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, Julie Yip-Williams set the stage for her lasting legacy and one final miracle: the story of her life.

Praise for The Unwinding of the Miracle

“Everything worth understanding and holding on to is in this book. . . . A miracle indeed.”—Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author

“A beautifully written, moving, and compassionate chronicle that deserves to be read and absorbed widely.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies

Biographies & Memoirs
February 5
Random House Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

susannahermana ,

Moving, relevant and incisive memoir

Truly an inspiring memoir; she intimately details her gut-wrenching battle with cancer and ultimately, conveys her courageous understanding of the inevitable.

Mimi 2 Cody ,

The Unwinding of the Miracle

I started this book the day before I had a routine colonoscopy not knowing what the book was about. This story actually held me keep it together through the procedure and another one six days later to remove a large benign growth. A remarkable and inspiring story. RIP, Julie.

Debtron69 ,

Very touching!

I learned a lot reading this book. I wish I had it before my own dad passed away from Stage IV colon cancer. Although my dad was 77 when diagnosed, he only lived 7 months after that. None the less, no matter what age it is still very difficult for the patient and for all those around that patient. I laughed and I cried cause many things reminded me of symptoms and situations we went through with my dad. To say that I’m not an avid reader is an understatement but I finished this book in 4 days! I really fell in love with it!! This book captivated me from start to finish! Thank you for the honesty! And for this book!!

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