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When Breath Becomes Air

A memoir by Indian-American neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, this powerful book is testament to the beauty of life, no matter how short, and the power of the human spirit, no matter how weary. In this memoir, Kalanithi not only recounts his struggle with cancer but also tells a powerful story of all kinds of love, love of parents for a dying son, the love of a wife for a suffering husband, and the love of a father who gets to hold his young daughter only for a while.

Paul Kalanithi ends his memoir paying tribute to his young daughter. He says:
“There is perhaps one thing to say to this infant, who is all future, overlapping briefly with me, whose life barring the improbable, is all but past.
The message is simple:
When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”


By: Katy Concepcion-Wiggins

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