This month sees the paperback publication of the lyrical memoir When Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanathi. It has been out in hardback for around a year and I finally got time to sit down with my copy and read it.
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 Becomes Air is a beautiful book that ponders the balance between life and death, how we surround ourselves with both and yet are so frightened by the latter. His lyricism, philosophy and admiration for his patients reminds me ever so of Dr. Oliver Sacks, also sadly lost to us.
The book is technically unfinished, based on his original plans, and was published posthumously. Here is a trailer for the book, featuring footage of Paul discussing his story.
It is heartbreaking and beautiful.
Interested? Buy it here.
What to read next:
Thank you ever so much to Bodley Head, an imprint of Vintage Books, for sending me the copy to review.