At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's training as aneurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live. W hen Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a medical student asking w hat makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon w orking in the core of human identity - the brain - and finally into a patient and a new father. What makes life worth living in the face of death? W hat do you do when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your ow n life fades away? Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.