Pia de Jong

Pia de Jong (b. 1961) made her literary debut in 2008 with de novel Lange dagen (Long Days), for which she received the Gouden Uil Readers’ Prize, followed in 2010 by Dieptevrees (Fear of the Deep). She writes a column about her life in Princeton, NJ, where she has lived since 2012 for the Dutch newspaper NRC, as well as in the memoir Flessenpost (Message in a Bottle). She is married to Robbert Dijkgraaf, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.



(Prometheus, 2016, 239 pages)

When Pia de Jong’s third child, Charlotte, is born, the obstetrician points at a spot on her little back: “She presses down on it with her forefinger. As soon as she takes her finger away, the spot turns blue. The colour of a lake in a forest at noon.” Many other black and blue marks appear; they are tumours. Charlotte has a rare form of leukaemia. Her parents decide not to expose her to a treatment that can only be harmful and is probably pointless.

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