This is a key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Start Publishing Notes' Summary, Analysis, and Review of Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air includes a summary of the book, a review, analysis & key takeaways, and detailed “About the Author” section. Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air is an autobiographical account of his experience with Stage IV lung cancer. Part memoir, part guidebook, and part philosophical investigation, the book is the story of his life, his work, and the difficult—but ultimately rewarding—process of coming to terms with his own death. It is difficult to separate When Breath Becomes Air from the circumstances surrounding its publication. The tragic ironies of Kalanithi’s situation—a non-smoker with lung cancer, a young man with an aggressive terminal illness, a talented surgeon who fell ill before he could realize his potential, a new father whose daughter will never know him—could not pull at readers’ heartstrings more if it had been engineered in a lab. The fact that portions of the book were published as essays at high-profile media outlets like the New York Times while Kalanithi was still alive means that many readers will come to the text with a certain level of emotional investment. The book’s publication, which was posthumous, as well as Kalanithi’s dedication to writing it in the midst of his swift decline, lend his words a poignancy that’s undeniable.