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
Inspiring . . . Kalanithi strives to define his dual role as physician and patient, and he weighs in on such topics as what makes life meaningful and how one determines what is most important when little time is left. . . . This deeply moving memoir reveals how much can be achieved through service and gratitude when a life is courageously and resiliently lived. "Publishers Weekly"
A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular clarity . . . Writing isn t brain surgery, but it s rare when someone adept at the latter is also so accomplished at the former. "Kirkus Reviews "(starred review)
[A] moving and penetrating memoir . . . This eloquent, heartfelt meditation on the choices that make live worth living, even as death looms, will prompt readers to contemplate their own values and mortality. "Booklist"
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
A tremendous book, crackling with life, animated by wonder and by the question of how we should live. Paul Kalanithi lived and died in the pursuit of excellence, and by this testimonial, he achieved it. Gavin Francis, author of "Adventures in Human Being""show more