Summary of When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi | Includes Analysis
When Breath Becomes Air is a memoir about Paul Kalanithi’s experiences as a doctor and as a terminally ill patient. The book discusses Kalanithi’s lifelong fascination with questions of human biology, mortality, and meaning. It then examines how these questions are intensified by the author’s own confrontation with lung cancer, sickness, and death.
Kalanithi’s father was a doctor from New York City; his mother was from India. The family moved to Kingman, Arizona, so that his father could pursue his medical career when Paul was young. His father worked long hours and was rarely home, which convinced young Paul that the last thing he wanted to do was to become a doctor himself. Paul’s mother was concerned about the weak school system in Kingman, and so crafted a lengthy list of literary classics which she made Paul and his brothers read. As a result, Paul became enthralled with literature. He planned to become a writer…
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Inside this Instaread Summary of When Breath Becomes Air:
• Summary of the book
• Important People
• Character Analysis
• Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style
About the Author
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Really detailed book, and very descriptive!
When Breath Becomes Air is a profound book about a young doctor who viewed the practice of medicine in a holistic, human way in terms of how he dealt with his patients, especially those with terminal illnesses. When he himself was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he put his philosophy to work, facing his end with dignity and purpose, and writing about his experience; a book that was completed and published by his wife after his death.