Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air  Summary by Ant Hive Media

Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air Summary

By Ant Hive Media

  • Release Date: 2016-03-13
  • Genre: Social Science
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This is a summary of Paul Kalanithi's #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER When Breath Becomes Air.

For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.

This summary is aimed for those who want to capture the gist of the book but don't have the current time to devour all 256 pages. You get the main summary along with all of the benefits and lessons the actual book has to offer. Ant Hive Media reads every chapter, extracts the understanding and leaves you with a new perspective and time to spare. We do the work so you can understand the book in minutes, not hours.


  • Not what I expected

    By olena46
    THis is just a summary; I thought I was buying the entire book as a one day special. What a disappointment! I should have known it was too good at that price even for a daily deal! The real book is a good read; don't waste time on the short version.