Calling all academics: If you’d like a free advanced copy of my book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, get thee to Random House’s academic blog and request a copy quick, while supplies last (which probably won’t be long at the rate things are going). See below for more information on the book, and advanced praise. Added bonus: If you teach the book this spring, you can also get me to come speak at your school/in your classes as part of my book tour.
Here’s Publishers Weekly on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks:
Science journalist Skloot makes a remarkable debut with
this multilayered story about “faith, science, journalism, and grace.”
It is also a tale of medical wonders and medical arrogance, racism,
poverty and the bond that grows, sometimes painfully, between two very
different women–Skloot and Deborah Lacks–sharing an obsession to learn
about Deborah’s mother, Henrietta, and her magical, immortal cells.
Henrietta Lacks was a 31-year-old black mother of five in Baltimore
when she died of cervical cancer in 1951. Without her knowledge,
doctors treating her at Johns Hopkins took tissue samples from her
cervix for research. They spawned the first viable, indeed miraculously
productive, cell line–known as HeLa. These cells have aided in medical
discoveries from the polio vaccine to AIDS treatments. What Skloot so
poignantly portrays is the devastating impact Henrietta’s death and the
eventual importance of her cells had on her husband and children.
Skloot’s portraits of Deborah, her father and brothers are so vibrant
and immediate they recall Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family.
Writing in plain, clear prose, Skloot avoids melodrama and makes no
judgments. Letting people and events speak for themselves, Skloot tells
a rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and
how easily it can exploit society’s most vulnerable people.
– Publishers Weekly, Starred Review