When Breath Becomes Air is a moving and sad yet inspiring memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question, ‘What makes a life worth living?‘
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.
It’s an emotional investment and although it is about dying, for the most part, the indelible impression it leaves is that it is more about living.