The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lackshas been getting an amazing amount of buzz in the media lately, so likely your holds lists are growing.  You probably already have this book on your radar, but just in case you’ve been caught napping, I’ll include the basics below.

ABOUT THE BOOK:In 1951 Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cervical cancer and died months later. Doctors took her cells without asking. Those cells never died. They launched a medical revolution and a multimillion dollar industry, yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown…Skloot brilliantly weaves together the Lacks’s story–past and present–with the story of the birth of bioethics, the story of HeLa cells, and the dark history of experimentation on African Americans. Important, powerful, and compassionate, this is a remarkable work of science and social journalism.


THE NEW YORK TIMES said, “…one of the most graceful and moving nonfiction books I’ve read in a very long time.”  Read the full, glowing article HERE.

“While there are other titles on this controversy…this is the most compelling account for general readers, especially those interested in questions of medical research ethics.  Highly recommended.” –LIBRARY JOURNAL

“Writing with a novelist’s artistry, a biologist’s expertise, and the zeal of an investigative reporter, Skloot tells a truly astonishing story of racism and poverty, science and conscience, spirituality and family driven by a galvanizing inquiry into the sanctity of the body and the very nature of the life force.”—BOOKLIST (starred review)

“Science journalist Skloot makes a remarkable debut with this multilayered story about ‘faith, science, journalism, and grace.’…Recalls Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family…A rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and how easily it can exploit society’s most vulnerable people.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

MEDIA: It was covered on ABC’s World News Tonight on Sunday and in the New York Times‘ “Health” section, and the author was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. For more info on this and links to clips visit EARLYWORD.

FREE!: Rebecca Skloot was in the office yesterday and was kind enough to autograph some copies of her book for us.  I have two copies to give away, please leave a comment for a chance to receive one.

Hot Book Alert: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Category: MusingsReviews


  • Ooh, I heard this author on NPR earlier this week and am dying to read the book! Fingers crossed …

  • Yes, the fresh air interview was amazing!! Very nice of Rebecca Skloot to share some books with you! Have a nice weekend. Thanks, Karen

  • I too thought the interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross was amazing. I’m looking forward to buying the book and reading it too! Would love a copy! Have a nice weekend. Karen

  • I too heard Rebecca Skloot on Fresh Air (NPR). Sounds like a fantastic book and would love to read it. Thanks so much, Karen

  • I’ve been hearing about this one too and would LOVE a copy!!!

  • I’ve had this on my to-read list since I saw the Publisher’s Weekly review and theory brief interview with Skloot last year. I heard her on NPR this weekend too, and am looking forward to reading the book. It would be great if I had my own copy 🙂

  • Gave away my review copy to a patron and am regretting it as now our hold list is LONG!

  • Too bad I don’t read my RSS feeds often enough… Glad to see the book is getting so much good press – she just visited our area for a lecture and book signing.

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *