College of the Redwoods proudly presents our
2017/18 Book of the Year choice.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
About the Author
Rebecca Skloot is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Her award winning science writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and many other publications. 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. She has worked as a correspondent for WNYC’s Radiolab and PBS’s Nova ScienceNOW. She and her father, Floyd Skloot, co-edited The Best American Science Writing 2011. You can read a selection of Rebecca Skloot’s magazine writing on the Articles page of her website.
(From Amazon ):
Henrietta Lacks was a mother of five living in Baltimore. A poor woman from African-American descent, she died from a ruthlessly aggressive cancer at the age of 30 where a sample of her cancerous tissue was taken without knowledge or consent. Also known by the scientists as HeLa, Henrietta Lack’s cells became one of the most important medicine tools of mid-century biology and medicinal science. The HeLa cell line played an important part in the development of polio vaccine, gene mapping, cloning, and many more discoveries, and her cells have been purchased and sold by the billions. Regardless of this fact, she remained virtually unknown, and her family remained so poor that they could not afford health insurance. A riveting tale of the conflicts between ethics, moral values, race, science, and medicine, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” surpasses other seemingly usual and plain stories of legal or scientific genre. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells a captivating story of cell cultures against faith healing and cutting edge medicine against Henrietta’s family sufferings.