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When Breath Becomes Air Mass Market Paperback – International Edition, 31 December 2018

4.7 out of 5 stars 11,219 ratings

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“I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option. . . . Part of this book’s tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him—passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die—so well. None of it is maudlin. Nothing is exaggerated. As he wrote to a friend: ‘It’s just tragic enough and just imaginable enough.’ And just important enough to be unmissable.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“Paul Kalanithi’s memoir,
When Breath Becomes Air, written as he faced a terminal cancer diagnosis, is inherently sad. But it’s an emotional investment well worth making: a moving and thoughtful memoir of family, medicine and literature. It is, despite its grim undertone, accidentally inspiring.”The Washington Post

“Paul Kalanithi’s posthumous memoir,
When Breath Becomes Air, possesses the gravity and wisdom of an ancient Greek tragedy. . . . [Kalanithi] delivers his chronicle in austere, beautiful prose. The book brims with insightful reflections on mortality that are especially poignant coming from a trained physician familiar with what lies ahead. . . . The narrative voice is so assured and powerful that you almost expect him to survive his own death and carry on describing what happened to his friends and family after he is gone.”The Boston Globe

“Devastating and spectacular . . . [Kalanithi] is so likeable, so relatable, and so humble, that you become immersed in his world and forget where it’s all heading.”
USA Today

“It’s [Kalanithi’s] unsentimental approach that makes
When Breath Becomes Air so original—and so devastating. . . . Its only fault is that the book, like his life, ends much too early.”Entertainment Weekly

When Breath Becomes Air] split my head open with its beauty.”—Cheryl Strayed

“Rattling, heartbreaking, and ultimately beautiful, the too-young Dr. Kalanithi’s memoir is proof that the dying are the ones who have the most to teach us about life.”
—Atul Gawande

“Thanks to
When Breath Becomes Air, those of us who never met Paul Kalanithi will both mourn his death and benefit from his life. This is one of a handful of books I consider to be a universal donor—I would recommend it to anyone, everyone.”—Ann Patchett

“Dr. Kalanithi describes, clearly and simply, and entirely without self-pity, his journey from innocent medical student to professionally detached and all-powerful neurosurgeon to helpless patient, dying from cancer. Every doctor should read this book—written by a member of our own tribe, it helps us understand and overcome the barriers we all erect between ourselves and our patients as soon as we are out of medical school.”
—Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery

About the Author

Paul Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon and writer. He grew up in Kingman, Arizona, and graduated from Stanford University with a BA and MA in English literature and a BA in human biology. He earned an MPhil in history and philosophy of science and medicine from the University of Cambridge and graduated cum laude from the Yale School of Medicine, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society. He returned to Stanford to complete his residency training in neurological surgery and a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience, during which he received the American Academy of Neurological Surgery’s highest award for research. He died in March 2015. He is survived by his large, loving family, including his wife, Lucy, and their daughter, Elizabeth Acadia.

Product details

  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1984801821
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1984801821
  • Customer reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 11,219 ratings

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
11,219 global ratings

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Top reviews from Singapore

Reviewed in Singapore 🇸🇬 on 29 November 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth contemplating.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 28 July 2019
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Ashok Krishna
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling Work of An Existential Nature
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 2 January 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars there's one phrase i love the best in this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 29 September 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 29 July 2017
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4.0 out of 5 stars Painful Reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 9 March 2019
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