Tag Archives: science

How Rebecca Skloot Built The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, has been interviewed a multitude of times on the story behind the book, but The OPEN Notebook chose instead to focus on these two interesting topics: the structure of the story, and Skloot’s decision to put herself in the book.

Skloot, who received her MFA in nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh, is certainly no stranger to structuring stories, and can in fact, become quite obsessed with it.

“My philosophy is,” Skloot tells The OPEN Notebook, “once you understand what structure is, then you can talk about characters and narrative arcs and how to fill in the story. But for me, structure can just completely make or break something.”

To read the full article, including Skloot’s own personal photos of her impressive color-coded index card collection made while organizing the story, click here.

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Transylvania University Selects The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as their FYE 2011 Pick!

Transylvania University in Lexington, KY has selected Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for their First Year Reading Program pick in 2011. Dr. Kathleen S. Jagger, Associate Vice-President & Associate Dean of the university says The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks “was the unanimous choice and we look forward to discussions across campus of many of the issues Skloot raises in her book.”

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks chronicles the life of the woman who changed science when her cells (taken without her knowledge) began to be used in medical research. The book has become a sensation across many campuses and has been selected for Common Reading at more than 100 colleges, universities, and “One Book, One City” Reads.  Colleges that have picked the book include: Continue reading

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Rebecca Skloot Shares Inspiration Behind The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Author Rebecca Skloot sits down to discuss the inspiration, impact, and process that went into The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

This new book trailer serves as a sneak peak into what we have to look forward to at next weekend’s First Year Experience Conference in Atlanta, GA where Rebecca Skloot is a featured speaker.

The paperback edition of the book releases on March 8, 2011.

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St. Bonaventure students love The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Students at St. Bonaventure University could barely contain their excitement while attending a book signing featuring Rebecca Skloot, author of the university’s “All Bonaventure Reads” 2010 selection The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The book signing was one part of a campus-wide event held on Sept. 29th, which included a free public lecture and small group discussions with St. Bonaventure students.

St. Bonaventure Freshman Elizabeth Johnson loves THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

St. Bonaventure Freshman Kayla Cronin shows off her Rebecca Skloot autograph

Elizabeth Johnson, Kayla Cronin, and Brooke Huebner pose after the book signing

St. Bonaventure Freshmen with author Rebecca Skloot

See a photo of Henrietta Lacks’s visit to St. Bonaventure!

Learn more about All Bonaventure Reads

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Get a FREE advanced reader’s edition of The Discovery of Jeanne Baret

The Discovery of Jeanne Baret is the story of the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. It is also a tale of the men with whom she traveled, from the obsessive naturalist and also her lover, Philibert Commerson; the fashion-plate Prince of Nassau-Siegen, who was often mistaken for a woman himself; and the sour ship’s surgeon, François Vivès, who despised Baret and Commerson, several different versions of the expedition emerge and many different tellings of Baret’s extraordinary achievement.

The book’s combination of science and gender studies issues along with high seas adventure make it a sure-fire conversation starter for your common reading program.

CommonReads is giving away advanced reader’s editions of The Discovery of Jeanne Baret. Comment below to request one! Offer only available to teachers, professors and school administrators in the United States.

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Dayton, Ohio to delve into The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks!

Community members of Dayton, Ohio will soon be delving into the New York Times bestseller and new common reading favorite, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The book, which chronicles the life of the woman who changed science when her cells (taken without her knowledge) began to be used in medical research, has been chosen as the Dayton Metro Library’s Big Read for 2011. The selection was announced following an online vote in which residents of the city could choose between one of three books.

Read more about the Dayton Metro Library’s Big Read selection here.

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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. 

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