James Nestor is an author and journalist who has written for Outside Magazine, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Scientific American, Dwell Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more.
Nestor’s book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, was released in May 2020. Breath spent 18 weeks of the New York Times bestseller list in the first year of publication and was an instant bestseller in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Sunday London Times. Breath was awarded the Best General Nonfiction Book of 2020 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Breath has been translated into more than 30 languages.
Breath explores how the human species has lost the ability to breathe properly over the past several hundred thousand years and is now suffering from a laundry list of maladies — snoring, sleep apnea, asthma, autoimmune disease — because of it. Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The answers aren’t found in pulmonology labs, as we might expect, but in the muddy digs of ancient burial sites, secret Soviet facilities, New Jersey choir schools, and the smoggy streets of Sao Paulo.
Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head. Nestor has presented his work at Stanford Medical School, the United Nations, and on radio and television shows including Fresh Air with Terry Gross, ABC’s Nightline, CBS Morning News, and dozens of NPR programs. He lives and breathes in San Francisco.