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One Book One College: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: Home

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Credit: National Human Genome Research Institute.  Retrieved from https://unlockinglifescode.org/education-resource-profile/henrietta-lacks-timeline-her-life-and-immortal-hela-cells

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

"Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, 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 were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the effects of the atom bomb; helped lead to important advances in cloning, in vitro fertilization, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions, with devastating consequences for her family.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where Henrietta’s children, unable to afford health insurance, wrestle with feelings of pride, fear, and betrayal."

retrieved from: http://rebeccaskloot.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/RHFYECatalog2011SklootPg.pdf

About the Author

Excerpts from the author's website (http://rebeccaskloot.com/about/bio):

"Rebecca Skloot ... 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. 

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 seven years since its publication ... [it] has been translated into more than 25 languages.

Skloot is the founder and president of The Henrietta Lacks Foundation, which has been featured in the New York Times. 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."

Rebecca Skloot: The story of HeLa [interview with the author]