Bookshelf | When Breath Becomes Air

About the BOOK:

When Breath Becomes Air chornicles the life of Paul Kalanithi who after having completed a decade long training as a neurosurgeon is confronted with being diagnosed of lung cancer.

From being one who treated serious patients to being a patient with a terminal disease, Kalanithi started penning this auto-biography after he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and was counting days.

It is a moving story about Kalanithi’s own life: from being a student pondering over the meaningfulness of life to a famous neurosurgeon who operated brains that deals with the core of human identity, to being a new father at a time when his own life is awaiting an uncanny end.

In writing about his own life, Kalanithi puts forth some reflecting questions: what is a person supposed to do when his life is catastrophically cut off? What makes a life admirable and worth living right in the face of death? And, finally, what does it mean to have a child right when one’s own life is on the verge of perennial slumber?

Paul Kalanithi passed away while working on the book yet ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ is regarded as a profound reflection on the acceptance of mortality and on the relationship between a patient and a doctor, all from an author, who had to face it all.

Reviews:

“A vital book about dying. Awe-inspiring and exquisite. Obligatory reading for the living.”

(Nigella Lawson)

“Rattling. Heartbreaking. Beautiful.”

(Atul Gawande, author of BEING MORTAL)

“A great, indelible book … as intimate and illuminating as Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal,” to cite only one recent example of a doctor’s book that has had exceptionally wide appeal … I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option … gripping from the start … None of it is maudlin. Nothing is exaggerated. As he wrote to a friend: “It’s just tragic enough and just imaginable enough.” And just important enough to be unmissable.”

(New York Times)

About the AUTHOR:

Paul Kalanithi: A neurosurgeon who took to writing, Paul Kalanithi held degrees in human biology, English Literature and history and philosophy of science and medicine from Cambridge and Stanford Universities before finally graduating from Yale School of Medicine. He was also bestowed with the highest award for research in the field of medicine by the American Academy of Neurological Surgery.