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Common Read- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  

A supplemental guide for the Common Read title "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
Last Updated: Sep 17, 2013 URL: http://libguides.umflint.edu/henriettalacks Print Guide Email Alerts

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
Call Number: RC 265.6 .L24 S55 2011
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of--From publisher description.

 

About the Author Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. She specializes in narrative science writing and has explored a wide range of topics, including goldfish surgery, tissue ownership rights, race and medicine, food politics, and packs of wild dogs in Manhattan. You can read a selection of Rebecca Skloot’s magazine writing on the Articles page of this site.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Skloot’s debut book, took more than a decade to research and write, and instantly hit the New York Times best-seller list, where it has remained for more than two years since its publication. 

The Immortal Life is being translated into more than 25 languages and adapted into a young reader edition. It is also being made into an HBO movie. Skloot is the founder and president of The Henrietta Lacks Foundation. She has a B.S. in biological sciences and an MFA in creative nonfiction. She financed her degrees by working in emergency rooms, neurology labs, veterinary morgues and martini bars. She has taught creative writing and science journalism at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburgh, and New York University. She currently gives talks on subjects ranging from bioethics to book proposals at conferences and universities nationwide.

Skloot lives in Chicago. She is currently working on a new book about the human animal bond, which you can read more about here

 --bio courtesy of rebeccaskloot.com--

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