Weekend Read

Paul Kalinithi

“I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option,” The New York Times

Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air


This weekend’s read is a book too serious, too profound and affecting to share the space with any other.

Paul Kalanithi was a true polymath an astonishingly talented scientist, neurosurgeon, writer and philosopher. His death last year from metastatatic lung cancer at the age of 37 deprived the world of a brilliant mind. Following his diagnosis Paul began to write in earnest and the result is this astonishing memoir exploring in the most intimate way what it means to be a doctor, to be human, to be mortal, to live well and to die well.

“I began to realise that coming in such close contact with my own mortality had changed both nothing and everything. Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. But now I knew it acutely. The problem wasn’t really a scientific one. The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.”
Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air

As readers we seem to be fascinated by these kinds of autobiographies based around raw mortality. This book stands apart from the many of it’s genre as a result of the sheer beauty and eloquence of Paul’s writing and the breadth of his subject. This is not a book about death but about what it takes to be human, about life as a process. I am loathe to say “read this” about any book – but I will. Read this (please).

 

 

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