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Rebecca Skloot

Author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

7+ Works 14,958 Members 747 Reviews 8 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: © 2010 Larry D. Moore

Works by Rebecca Skloot

Associated Works

Best Food Writing 2005 (Best Food Writing) (2005) — Contributor — 100 copies
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks [2017 film] (2017) — Original book — 25 copies


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Common Knowledge




This book was stupendous. Henrietta Lacks' story was both sad and angering. The treatment she underwent for her tumor seems barbaric now, though it was state of the art then. And it's hard not to see the researchers as callous, caring more about the tumor cells than the woman.

Rebecca Skloot spent many years writing this book, and the detail is wonderful. She paints a sympathetic picture of Henrietta's family and what they went through during Henrietta's life and after her death. She is unflinching in her descriptions of the hair-raising things that researchers did to other people in the name of science.

In the end there are no pat resolutions on the subject of medical ethics, tissue rights, etc. There is plenty of food for thought, though.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm glad my sister made me read it.
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Bookladycma | 741 other reviews | May 18, 2024 |
Well-spoken and a talent for piecing a story together for optimum comprehension, Rebecca Skloot does a remarkable job of immersing the reader in the fears and joys of Debra Lacks and her siblings, as she relates the story of their mother, Henrietta Lacks, who, in 1951, when dying of cancer--complicated by syphilis, provided the gift of her cancer cells, which have lived on to provide a window into the mysterious biological mechanisms of life itself. If you thought biology was a bit too cold and scientific a subject, devoid of villains or heroes, think again. Depending on where I was, I alternated formats on this book, reading it both as an e-book and an audio. Each has its special benefits. Cassandra Campbell is a fabulous reader, and you really don’t want to miss the concluding author interview on the audio, but the photos of the characters in the print version should not be missed either.
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TraSea | 741 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |
I was really moved by this story. I don't read much nonfiction, but am very glad I made time for this one. It's filled with important information about Henrietta, the cells that have done so much for science, and the wreckage and pain that is often left behind when a loved one is lost, particularly in difficult circumstances. I learned so much, but also found myself very involved in the Lacks family's struggle. It's sad, touching, and finally hopeful.
rknickme | 741 other reviews | Mar 31, 2024 |
I waited about 2 years for this to become available at the library but was not disappointed.
A controversial subject dealt with in a thoughtful and balanced way
cspiwak | 741 other reviews | Mar 6, 2024 |



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Associated Authors

Tim Folger Contributor, Series Editor
Jesse Cohen Series Editor
Bahni Turpin Narrator
Mark Bowden Contributor
Charles Homans Contributor
Katy Butler Contributor
John Brenkus Contributor
Andrew Curry Contributor
Michael Specter Contributor
Ed Yong Contributor
Amy Harmon Contributor
Julia Whitty Contributor
Carl Zimmer Contributor
Peter J. Boyer Contributor
Cynthia Gorney Contributor
Cari Beauchamp Contributor
Kristin Ohlson Contributor
Charles Siebert Contributor
Burkhard Bilger Contributor
Alan Schwarz Contributor
Deborah Blum Contributor
John Colapinto Contributor
Judy Balaban Contributor
Göran Grip Translator
Sara R. Acedo Cover designer
Manda Townsend Photographer


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