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.
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