When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, a Book Review

I spent 42 years in healthcare and met some astonishing people. I regret I never met this extraordinary neurosurgeon. Here we all get a chance to “meet” him in his beautifully written memoir that spent many weeks on the NYT best seller list. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize as well. Dr. Kalanithi had a love for the written word and a deep affection for the patients he served. Those attributes exude from the pages of his book.

His life of wonderful potential was struck down by a tumor at 37 in the organ by which we most deeply inspire, the lungs. I have little doubt he gave enormous encouragement to the many needy and quite ill patients he treated.

Though knowing he was terminally ill he and his spouse decided to have a child. The letter he wrote to his infant daughter, presented in this work, is one of the most beautiful, tender pieces of prose I have ever read.

If you have never breathed in this precious work, if possible, don’t put it off much longer.

H. Robert Rubin, best-selling, Amazon memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, How Did I Get Through This? and Please Save the Third Dance for Me, all available on Amazon.