When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi - Book Summary

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Synopsis

"When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi : Book Summary by FlashBooks

NOTE—THIS IS AN AUDIOBOOK SUMMARY:

When Breath Becomes Air
By Paul Kalanithi

ABOUT:

This autobiography is a beautiful tragedy. It is the story of Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s short, outstanding life. Yet somehow, it transcends the format of a ‘This Is My Life’ book to become a profound story about life, death, and living with death. And then, it becomes a legacy of living life with meaning and purpose, even beyond the grave.

Kalanithi’s story has a charming beginning – a story about a city boy who suddenly moved with his family to a small Arizona town to grow up with his two brothers, his physician father, and his mother – a woman who took personal responsibility for her sons’ education, and insisted that Kalanithi read the books that would become his most meaningful friends throughout his too short life.

His journey through undergraduate school, medical school, and his residency as a neurosurgeon were constantly reframing his understanding of life, death and meaning. Before he turned 36, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. This book culminates in his final choice – to live every day, even while dying.

Here’s what you’ll learn about in this summary:

How reading became Kalanithi’s passion in his preteens, and set the foundation for a man who would seek language to explain life and meaning.
The journey of a seeker – a man who became dissatisfied with the written word, and decided that life should be experienced through the hands-on reality of the medical profession.
The hauntingly beautiful transformation from student to neurosurgeon to cancer patient, and the enlightenment about life that could only be found in dying.

Chapters