The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Crown, 2010. ISBN 978-1400052172 368 pp. $

I really want to love this book! I’ve seen great reviews of it, and think it’s an important topic–a culture of one African America woman’s cancer cells have divided and multiplied at a phenomenal rate since the 1950s, and they are still used today for a number of important medical tests and procedures. Although the HeLa cells are
named for her, she was never asked permission for those cells to be cultured and used, and never received a dime for them.

Henrietta Lack’s biography is interspersed with author Skloot’s tale of first hearing about these amazing cells, researching them, and tracking down family members and medical personnel to get the full story, and the tale is interwoven with biology, civil rights and the medical science.

I’m finding it absolutely fascinating and highly readable, but I’m a former biology major. I’m finding it a little disorganized to boot.

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