Welcome Chronicle Review readers and Facebook friends! Enter to win a FREE copy of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks!

Did you see our ad in The Chronicle Review? Are you coming to us via Facebook? Whether the path, you’ve come to the right place to learn more about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks—and possibly win a free copy of this important, new book!  (offer open only to academics and librarians)

Here’s a brief summary: 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. She was diagnosed with an aggressive and fatal form of cervical cancer and was dead by age 30. Yet her cells–taken without her knowledge–became one of the most important tools in medicine. HeLa cells were vital in the development of the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the effects of the atom bomb; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions, making billions of dollars for many but not her family. Yet she remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave—until now.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is being read and discussed by professors and students from across disciplines, such as African-American Studies, Biology, Ethics, Journalism and more. And the book has already been selected by over 15 college common reading programs—a rare feat for any book let alone one that just published. To see the long and growing list of academic praise and common reading program adoptions, click here.

You can also begin reading the book now by clicking here and then ponder such questions as: How do race, class and gender factor in this story? Should the Lacks family be compensated for their mother’s contribution to medicine? What does this story say about modern medical ethics? The first five people—must be eithr an academic or a librarian—to post a thoughtful comment here will receive a free copy of the book. 


Order an Exam Copy

More About the Book

Other Posts Featuring The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


Filed under Announcements, Giveaways, One to Watch - New books on the rise!, Top Adoptions

10 responses to “Welcome Chronicle Review readers and Facebook friends! Enter to win a FREE copy of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks!

  1. I love the idea of Henrietta helping people after her death… even though it was ethically specious.

  2. JenP

    I am amazed at the story behind this book, and that it is actually true. I honestly can not believe that this woman’s children are not compensated for the impact she had on the field of science. The fact that Skloot brought her story to life and attention is a public service.

  3. In light of the Tuskegee syphillis experiment done on black men for 40 years, I’m not at all shocked nor surprised to learn of Henrietta Lacks. It’s highly immoral & unethical to benefit from someone who is unaware, whether living or dead, and not compensate them or their family. I don’t know that a dollar amount can even be put on the price that the world owes Mrs. Lacks’ family.

  4. daniel

    I heard her story on NPR a few months ago, and received my state drivers license renewal notice in the mail on the same day. Her story inspired me to immediately sign up as an organ and tissue donor by signing the back of the card and telling my family. What a fascinating read!


  5. Amy

    I grew up with family dying around me. One would say to have been blessed with so many raised the chances, but no matter what someone you know dying is hard.

    As i got older, my friends uncle who was to me as close as family, was unwell and I couldn’t ever work out why. He has Emphysema – a condition from which he will never recover, but which will continue to degrade his lungs.

    We focus so much on the people that we know, the faces of the conditions that these addictions cause that sometimes its easier to overlook the countless other who also suffer – the ones who through their suffering saved countless lives.

    People like Henrietta Lacks. People who deserve to be known, to have their stories heard. Even now its still important.

  6. It is utterly amazing to me how this family was kept in the dark while their genetic make-up was being used for..who knows what exactly. The idea that a person has contributed to such vital scientific exploration and discovery and herself and her family have been left out of the picture completely is such a devastating and important story. Wow!

  7. In reading the excerpt for this book, I’ve found myself wondering what this woman, whose cells have been deemed immortal, must have been like so long ago. I wondered about what she must have gone through when this cancer was discovered within her . . . how she handled everything that ensued thereafter.

    Although, we, the reader, only catch a glimpse of Henrietta within this excerpt, we can sense her strength . . . her will to go on. The fact that the her cells exist today is a testament to that. It’s as if she wants her story to be told and Rebecca Skloot describes Henrietta, her family, and the circumstances regarding the use of her cells so perfectly.

    Her words have moved me so deeply. They have instilled within me the urge to know more about Henrietta Lacks and the world in which she lived. Her story, in all honesty, is one worth telling and Rebecca has captured it so beautifully from the little that I have read, so far.

    I can’t wait to read more of the story soon. Thank you so much for writing it, Rebecca!

  8. The combination of an examination of medical ethics and the discovery of an unsung and inadvertent heroine whose contribution to science is possibly of greater magnitude than any of the individual researchers who’ve made use of her cells is irresistible subject matter. As science skeptics and people of faith become increasingly polarized, it’s wonderful to see a book like this hit the best-seller lists and create cross-disciplinary common ground.

  9. I was touched by how Rebecca Skloot was able to include Henrietta Lack’s family in this process, who were understandably skeptical about talking with anybody. So much had been taken from them already. Not only was Ms. Skloot respectful, but persistent as well, and the book would not have been the same without their cooperation. Perhaps the book would not have existed at all. It gives one hope that perhaps the time has come after all, for distrust, suspicion, and defensiveness, the true obstacles in any relationship, to be replaced by forgiveness and hope as we all try to understand each other a little better.

  10. I received this book and absolutely loved it. You can tell that this story became deeply personal for the author and I commend her for taking the time to tell it and tell it well. I would encourage anyone that is hesitant to read this book to read my review of it (http://www.reads4pleasure.com/2010/05/immortal-life-of-henrietta-lacks.html). I can guarantee you’ll love it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s