The University of Wisconsin – Madison is the latest university to have adopted Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for their 2010/11 common reading program. Along with Virginia Commonwealth University, students at the University of Wisconsin – Madison will read this new biography about the woman whose cells, taken without her permission and now known as HeLa cells, have helped in the discovery of medical treatments for everything from polio to leukemia.
In a news release for their Go Big Read program, UW – Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin says of the books adoption, “”In addition to being a great read, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is cross-disciplinary and relevant, and will engage students and readers on a number of intellectual and personal levels.”
Ken Frazier, director of UW-Madison Libraries and a member of the Go Big Read Steering Committee also stated, “Our reviewers were drawn to this book because it is compelling and readable as a story and intensely interesting in the way it handles complex ethical and scientific issues. I can’t imagine any book that would be a better gateway to the intellectual richness of UW-Madison.”
Has your committee considered The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks? If you have read the book, or read anything about it, let others know what you think by leaving a comment here!