Julie Yip-Williams

The Unwinding of the Miracle
  • The Unwinding of the Miracle

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    'Julie Yip-Williams conquered blindness and adversity only to be struck down. Her book is heartbreaking and necessary.' Guardian

    'Eloquent, gutting and at times disarmingly funny ... a magnificent writer.' New York Times

    Born blind in Vietnam, Julie Yip-Williams narrowly escaped euthanasia at the hands of her grandmother, only to have to 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 gave her partial sight. Against all odds, she became a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, a life. Then, at the age of thirty-seven, with two little girls still at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began.

    Growing out of a blog Julie kept for the last four years of her life, The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life told through the prism of imminent death, of a life lived vividly and cut too short. With glorious humour, bracing honesty and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, her story is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. More than just a tale about cancer, it's about truth and honesty, fear and pain, our dreams, our jealousies. And it's about how to say goodbye to your children and a life you love.

    Starting as a need to understand the disease, it has evolved into a powerful story about living - even as Julie put her affairs in order and prepared to die.

    'A searing memoir ... I didn't know Julie, but in these pages I grew to love her.' Lucy Kalanithi

Born in Vietnam, Julie Yip-Williams was a writer, mother, wife and lawyer who grew up in California and graduated from Harvard Law School. In July 2013 she was diagnosed with Stage Four colon cancer. She died in March 2018, aged forty-two, and leaves behind her husband, Josh, and their daughters, Mia and Isabelle.