The Unwinding of the Miracle
Humor, honesty, and anger
A memoir benefitting the Alliance
Random House releases a memoir by the late Julie Yip-Williams, a young mother who faced a terminal colorectal cancer diagnosis, on February 5, 2019. The Unwinding of the Miracle is available for order on Amazon, and a percentage of proceeds benefit the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
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.’
Last year, CBS Morning News, did a feature on Julie a few weeks before her death highlighting the story she was writing, sharing her raw journey of hope and reality in facing death.
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:
“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
“Everything worth understanding and holding on to is in this book.”—Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place and Tell Me More
“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.”—Lucy Kalanithi
Julie Yip-Williams tried to stay as present and honest as possible as she watched herself die from stage IV colon cancer. Pineapple Street Media presents a podcast called “Julie,” a series chronicling Julie’s process of preparing for her death and revisiting the events of her extraordinary life, through hours of intensely personal and revealing conversations. It is an immigrant story, a love story, and a ghost story. This series is a companion to her posthumous memoir, The Unwinding of the Miracle, published by Random House.
The Alliance connection
Julie met Alliance CEO Michael Sapienza early on, when he launched what was then the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation in honor of his mom, who passed away from the disease. They formed a close and deep friendship. She meant so much to Michael, and he was honored to play at her services and call her a great friend. Julie was also a beacon for the community. She moved and inspired so many survivors and caregivers in which they felt validated and supported in their colorectal cancer journey by her writing. She was a voice for so many who couldn't put words together in the way she was able to articulate the raw and open battle with colorectal cancer.