When Breath Becomes Air chronicles the life of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at the age of 36. The book explores Kalanithi’s journey from medical student to doctor to patient, and his quest for understanding amidst great adversity. With intelligence, grace, and humor,Kalanihti brings readers into the depths of his introspection and reflections on life and death.
For who is this book for ?
This book is for anyone who wants to explore the depths of human introspection, and gain a greater understanding of life and death.
- The writing is beautiful and lyrical
- The book provides introspection into the life of a doctor/patient
- Kalanithi’s story is touching and inspiring
- It can be depressing at times.
- It is a dense read and may require some effort to get through.
- It does not have a lot of action or suspense, since it is mostly composed of Kalanithi’s reflections on his life.
Learn more about the author
Paul Kalanithi was born in 1977 and raised in Kingman, Arizona. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in English literature and worked as a journalist before attending medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. After completing his neurosurgery residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he returned to UCSF as a clinical instructor. In 2013 he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and died weeks later on March 9th, 2015.
“At once philosophical and intensely personal, When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable exploration of the human experience at the extremes of life.”
“This beautifully written, powerful book is not just about dying. It is about living.”
“i cannot remember the last time i read a book so quickly or with such total absorption.”
“Kalanithi is a gifted writer and his prose is luminous… [He] seamlessly moves back and forth in time, juxtaposing scenes from before and after his cancer diagnosis. The result is an eloquent, deeply moving exploration of what it means to be alive.”