Laura E. Mariani is a second-year PhD student of Neuroscience at Emory University who writes about her experiences on her blog, Neurotypical. Last month she wrote at length about a recent student seminar and talk given at the university by Rebecca Skloot, author of the New York Times bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks:
When I originally invited Rebecca to come to Emory, I imagined a reading and book signing similar to the ones I’ve attended in the past… This event surpassed my expectations. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks [sic] connects with people on an intimate, emotional level, and inspires readers to ask themselves hard questions about life and death, love and loss, right and wrong. Rebecca presents years of meticulous research with an engaging writing style to educate her audience without patronizing or preaching. She describes the members of the Lacks family, their history, and her own relationships with them in a way that reminds us that these characters are not just characters, but real people with complex personalities and tragically human problems. After a reflective introduction by Emory’s Senior Vice Provost, Ozzie Harris, Rebecca’s straightforward narrative left the large crowd completely rapt at her reading.