When Breath Becomes Air: The ultimate moving life-and-death story (Paperback)
  • When Breath Becomes Air: The ultimate moving life-and-death story (Paperback)
zoom

When Breath Becomes Air: The ultimate moving life-and-death story (Paperback)

(author)
£10.99
Paperback 256 Pages
Published: 05/01/2017
  • 10+ in stock

Usually dispatched within 2-3 working days

  • This item has been added to your basket
Waterstones Says

One of the most poignant meditations on mortality and terminal illness ever written, When Breath Becomes Air is the record of the last 22 months of neurosurgeon Kalanithi’s life. Deftly identifying universal truths amidst emotional devastation, this is a profoundly rewarding read and a medical memoir to savour.

Waterstones Non-fiction Book of the Month for January (2017)

Shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2016

Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2017

Be ready. Be seated. See what courage sounds like. See how brave it is to reveal yourself in this way. But above all, see what it is to still live, to profoundly influence the lives of others after you are gone, by your words – Abraham Verghese, foreword to When Breath Becomes Air

An intimate and exquisitely written meditation on the meaning of life by a young neurosurgeon facing terminal cancer. Dr. Paul Kalanithi wrote When Breath Becomes Air in the last 22 months of his life.

The result is an inspirational account of family, medicine and literature, on publication swiftly finding an audience of booksellers moved by its gradual shift from hope to Kalanithi’s dignified acceptance of life’s end. We strongly recommend the emotional investment to read it.

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.

One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity - the brain - and finally into a patient and a new father. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?

Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784701994
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 181 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A vital book about dying. Awe-inspiring and exquisite. Obligatory reading for the living. - Nigella Lawson

Rattling. Heartbreaking. Beautiful. - Atul Gawande, author of BEING MORTAL

A great, indelible book ... as intimate and illuminating as Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal,” to cite only one recent example of a doctor’s book that has had exceptionally wide appeal ... I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option ... gripping from the start ... 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. - New York Times

Powerful and poignant. - The Sunday Times

Less a memoir than a reflection on life and purpose… A vital book. - The Economist

Powerful and poignant… Elegantly written posthumous memoir… Should be compulsory for anyone who intends to be a doctor… A profound reflection on the meaning of life. - Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times

A stark, fascinating, well-written and heroic memoir. - Stefanie Marsh, The Times

The power of this book lies in its eloquent insistence that we are all confronting our mortality every day, whether we know it or not. The real question we face, Kalanithi writes, is not how long, but rather how, we will live – and the answer does not appear in any medical textbook. - Alice Okeeffe, Guardian

Exceptional. - Katie Law, Evening Standard

When I came to the end of the last flawless paragraph of When Breath Becomes Air, all I could do was turn to the first page and read the whole thing again. Searingly intelligent, beautifully written, and beyond brave, I haven't been so marked by a book in years. - Gabriel Weston, author of DIRECT RED

A remarkable book… Kalanithi writes very well, in a plain and matter-of-fact way, without a trace of self-pity, and you are immediately gripped and carried along… [He] was clearly a deeply thoughtful and compassionate man, and his death is a great loss to medicine, but at least he has left this remarkable book behind. - Dr Henry Marsh, Observer

A meditation on what makes a life worth living. - Guardian

It turns out not really to be about dying at all but about life and how to live it — though the closeness of death gives it an urgency and economy… When Breath Becomes Air is a Renaissance book from a Renaissance man. It is a work of philosophy and morality, a reconciliation of science and religion. There is even plot and excitement… It was only with the restrained, elegant epilogue written by his wife Lucy Kalanithi that I found myself weeping helplessly… When Breath Becomes Air tells us what means to live a good life, by giving us a glimpse into an exceptional one. - Lucy Kellaway, Financial Times

A powerful and compelling read. - The Economist, Book of the Year

An astonishingly affecting memoir and eloquent examination of what it is to be human and confront your own mortality… This is a remarkable book by a man who was driven by his passion for his life, his loves and his career. His death is undoubtedly a tragedy but in writing this memoir he has guaranteed that his voice and the important story it tells will resonate for years to come. - Mernie Gilmore, Daily Express

As thought-provoking as it was moving. The sheer exuberance of Kalnithi’s intellectual curiosity shone through in his writing. - Katie Law, Evening Standard, Book of the Year

To the venerable canon of doctors who could write (from Chekhov to Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande), another name can be added: that of Paul Kalanithi… Brilliantly written. - Louise Carpenter, Sunday Telegraph

Paul Kalanithi’s memoir, When Breath Becomes Air… split my head open with its beauty. Truly. Madly. Deeply. - Cheryl Strayed, author of WILD

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 one of a handful of books I consider to be a universal donor - I would recommend it to anyone, everyone. - Ann Patchett, author of BEL CANTO

A remarkable book about what it means to live…a tour de force…The book will be compared inevitably to Sacks’ work and also to the iconic book that Joan Didion wrote about grief, The Year of Magical Thinking. And like that book, it’s destined to become an elegiac classic on the subject of mortality. But it’s a different feeling from Didion’s gorgeous, melancholy fog of war. When Breath Becomes Air is electrically alive in its anticipation of death. - Lisa Chase, Elle

You may also be interested in...

Undoctored
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
This is Going to Hurt
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.99
Paperback
Breathtaking
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Unwell Women
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Devil You Know
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Facemaker
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
A Fortunate Woman
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Being Mortal
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Unnatural Causes
Added to basket
Free For All
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback
Life, Death and Biscuits
Added to basket
Do No Harm
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Fighting for Life
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
Medieval Bodies
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
War Doctor
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
An Extra Pair of Hands
Added to basket
The Seven Ages of Death
Added to basket
Lizzie | @littlehux

“A lyrical memoir on the balance of life and death; stunning”

In his sixth year into his residency as a neurosurgeon, Paul discovers he has cancer. Paul always dreamt of being both a writer and doctor, and with time moving on without him, he began his memoir.

When Breath... More

Paperback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 155

“What do you mean you haven't read it?!?!”

But seriously! This book nearly had me in tears on the train home and I didn't even cry at Titanic. And not even sad tears really because although it was sad and a heart wrenching journey through cancer,... More

Paperback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 127

“Challenging and awe-inspiring”

I knew a little about this book before I started, I knew I was in for an emotional read, but I hadn’t quite anticipated how affecting it would be.
Death. Something that certainly lies ahead for us all in one form or... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 116

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.

env: aptum
branch: