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When Breath Becomes Air

228 pages, 2016

biographies & memoirs

biographies & memoirs

997 books
Acclaimed neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi was not your average doctor. At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was treating the dying, and the next he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. And just like that, his future evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity.
The Fragility of Life

When Breath Becomes Air explores the delicate nature of life. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon, is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, forcing him to confront his own mortality. This book encourages us to appreciate every moment and not take life for granted.

The Intersection of Life and Death

Kalanithi's unique perspective as a neurosurgeon and a patient allows him to explore the intersection of life and death. He provides a rare insight into the medical world, making us see the human side of medicine.

The Pursuit of Meaning

In his book, Paul Kalanithi seeks to find the meaning of life in the face of death. He encourages us to look into our own lives and find what gives them purpose and value. It's a powerful reminder to live a life of significance, not just existence.

The Power of Resilience

Despite his diagnosis, Kalanithi continues to work, write, and live his life to the fullest. His resilience is inspiring and teaches us that we can face adversity with courage and determination.

The Importance of Love and Support

When Breath Becomes Air also highlights the importance of love and support in times of crisis. Kalanithi's relationship with his wife Lucy is a testament to the power of love and companionship. It's a reminder to cherish our relationships and lean on our loved ones in times of need.

Quotes 5

A profound exploration of life's purpose, When Breath Becomes Air is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Bill GatesBill Gates - Microsoft Co-founder

When Breath Becomes Air is a powerful and haunting reflection on our mortality.

Atul GawandeAtul Gawande - Surgeon, Writer

This book is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient.

Abraham VergheseAbraham Verghese - Physician, Author

When Breath Becomes Air is a profound and poignant exploration of what it means to be alive.

Siddhartha MukherjeeSiddhartha Mukherjee - Oncologist, Author

This book is a testament to my husband's courage and resilience in the face of life's most profound challenges.

Lucy KalanithiLucy Kalanithi - Physician, Widow
Bill GatesAtul GawandeAbraham VergheseSiddhartha MukherjeeLucy Kalanithi


Bill Gates

Bill Gates

entrepreneurinvestortechnologyventure capitalist
authorBrad Feld

Brad Feld

entrepreneurtechnologyventure capitalistauthor
authorJames Clear

James Clear

Nick Crocker

Nick Crocker

entrepreneurtechnologyventure capitalist
authorMelinda Gates

Melinda Gates

Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg

entrepreneurtechnologyventure capitalist

When Breath Becomes Air found in libraries

37 books

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