Published by Random House on January 12 2016
Add to Goodreads
Powell's • Indiebound
Paul was something of a renaissance man. He studied biology, literature and philosophy before attending medical school and ultimately focusing on neurosurgery. His big plans for the future were cut short when he was diagnosed with a very progressive form of lung cancer.
Part of Paul’s dream was to become a writer and when a fast metabolizing cancer is starting you in the face it really spurns you forward. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to finish his memoir. (Lucy, Paul’s wife, does a pretty good job of bringing it all together.)
This book is hard to talk about. It is equal parts a memoir and book of science. It deals with cancer and a delves deep into the philosophy of mortality. This short book packs a big punch and it is just as heartbreaking as it sounds.
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.
When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?