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Memoir

When Breath Becomes Air

2016 BOTY FINALIST
Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to When Breath Becomes Air!

by Paul Kalanithi

Quick take

A brilliant, inspiring exploration of how to live a meaningful life in the face of death.

Synopsis

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naive m...

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  • 74% Love
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    February 2016