Neurosurgeon Kalanithi’s memoir up for prestigious award


Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air has been shortlisted as a contender for The Wellcome Book Prize.

The memoir, which was published posthumously, is in the running for the £30,000 award. Microsoft mogul Bill Gates admitted how moved he was by the memoir in a blog post titled ‘This Book Left Me In Tears’ after finishing Kalanithi’s work. The neurosurgeon died age 37 of lung cancer in 2015.

His memoir details his experiences from medical student to neurosurgeon. His roles then reversed, when he found himself as a new father and a patient himself after his devastating cancer diagnosis.

The Wellcome Book Prize recognises works that focus on illness and health, and When Breath Becomes Air is the first posthumous work to be in the running for the title.

Other works in the running for the prize include: The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss, Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene, Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes, How to Survive a Plague by David France and Mend the Living by Maylis de Karangal. The winner is to be announced on 24th April.

Check out some more news on the memoirs below:


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