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Extended Audio Sample A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science, and Cancer Audiobook, by Mary Elizabeth Williams Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Elizabeth Williams Narrator: Mary Elizabeth Williams Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2016 ISBN: 9781504687119
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A wry, witty account of what it is like to face death—and be restored to life

After being diagnosed in her early forties with metastatic melanoma—a “rapidly fatal” form of cancer—journalist and mother of two Mary Elizabeth Williams finds herself in a race against the clock. She takes a once-in-a-lifetime chance and joins a clinical trial for immunotherapy, a revolutionary drug regimen that trains the body to vanquish malignant cells. Astonishingly, her cancer disappears entirely in just a few weeks. But at the same time, her best friend embarks on a cancer journey of her own—with very different results.

Williams’ experiences as a patient and a medical test subject reveal with stark honesty what it takes to weather disease, the extraordinary new developments that are rewriting the rules of science—and the healing power of human connection.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Devastating and wise, clear-eyed and funny…This is a book for all the survivors.”

    Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Astonishing and inspiring…When you laugh and cry at the exact same time, you know you are reading an amazing survival story.”

    Piper Kerman, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Snarky, funny, frequently off-color, Williams is a gifted writer who turns the greatest crisis of her life into an engaging story that reads almost like a novel.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “[Williams] eloquently and generously shares her story and her emotions in this remarkably illuminating account.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Who would have thought a book about being diagnosed with stage four melanoma could be exhilarating and entertaining?…[With] a narrative rich in detail, personalities, and New York scenes, she will ease the burdens of those immediately affected and inform others of progress in cancer research.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Writer Mary Elizabeth Williams is reflective and rueful in her performance of her memoir about her journey through Stage IV melanoma…Williams is bare in her reading and writing. Her conversations with friends and family members also undergoing cancer treatment particularly shine with love, humor, and candor.”


  • A Library Journal Best Book of 2016 for Health & Medicine
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About the Author

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior staff writer for award-winning Salon.com and has appeared in the New York Times and numerous other national and regional publications. The author of Gimme Shelter and A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles, she lives in New York City with her family.