Thursday, May 16, 2019

Book Review: When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

A super-kind, super-intelligent young man takes the long road to becoming a neurosurgeon. On the verge of completing his years of education and stepping into an illustrious career, he is struck down by a raging case of lung cancer. He dies at age 37. While dying, he wrote this book.

It is an amazing look at his fascination with language, meaning, science, life and death. As a budding neurosurgeon, he took to heart the mingling of questions about life, death, and identity with medical questions of treatments, cures, and prognoses. As a patient himself, he confronted these questions even more deeply and continued learning about himself and the meaning of life to the very end.

A very well-pondered book, shining new understandings on our existence and on medical interventions at times of crisis. He found and reinforced for me that the circle of life and death is a sacred journey.

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