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When Breath Becomes Air



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Paul Kalanithi


Call no.: 616.99424 KAL -[HEA] (Available on eReads and Overdrive)


All rights reserved. New York: Random House, 2016



No one expects a doctor to fall terminally ill. But that was not the case for Paul Kalanithi. At the age of 36 and on the verge of completing his decade-long training as a neurosurgeon, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. One moment he was an all-powerful doctor treating the dying and the next, a meek patient struggling to stay alive.


What makes a life worth living in the face of death? What gives a life value, and how can that value be measured? These are some questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this stunning memoir.


Written in a plain yet gripping manner, When Breath Becomes Air is an intellectual and moving autobiography about Kalanithi’s last days. Yes, it is a little bit about dying, but it is more about being alive.


Text: Elizabeth Thomas