When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air
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Published: 2/17/2016
On the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. Kalanithi chronicles his transformation from a naive medical student into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

The autobiographical account of the writer who is no more. This was the first reason that I picked up this one jumping the to-be-read.

Of South Indian roots, Paul’s father had migrated to the US with his family and acquired citizenship there. The family flourished as each sibling followed their father’s footsteps becoming fine doctors of the highest repute. I find Paul a prodigal person. His mother fed his fertile brain on a diet of books of each subject and genre.

Paul in his portrayal of self realises his own spiritual yearning. Very early in life, he has clearly mentioned how he dug deep into literature and philosophy to find the reason of life. To understand the romance of karma, existence, and death. His own poetry which he has shared is unparalleled in aesthetics and beauty. Sliding under the skin of English literature he completed his MA.

Soon his spiritual quests led him to the doors of Medical Science, followed by a residency in Neurosurgery.

His life in the medical college is described in detail and is humbling for a layman like me.

The turning point comes, which becomes a big reason why this extremely busy neurosurgeon, exceptionally talented, acclaimed, and sought for in the whole medical world had to sit down and pen this book. This turning point is the elixir of this book, this title. Once you reach there, there is no showing your back. You are a chief confidant of the smallest battles this gifted doctor had to fight. Day by day.

The book has been completed by his dear wife and dedicated to their darling daughter.

Buy the book here:

Shweta Agarwal

Shweta Agarwal is a trained and experienced science teacher. During her teaching days she experienced a brief stint as an editor of a reputed Publishing house. The enigma of words has since captured her, and she now freelances as a blogger and writer. She has authored a mystery novella ‘Why should I be Good?’

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