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I just finished reading the wonderful new book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. It is about the supersized contributions of a little known woman to science, it is about a family, it’s about a journalist.
Skloot’s years and years spent researching this book, from her tireless attempts to sway the Lacks family to talk with her, to her endless patience in gaining their trust, has given her a uniquely personal perspective on this story. While she first heard of Henrietta Lacks, the woman who is HeLa cells, in a college course, she has over the years integrated herself into the story of the Lacks family. When it came to finally writing this story she decided to do so from a first person perspective, interweaving information about the Lacks family, Henrietta, and the science made possible by HeLa cells, with her own narrative of researching this book. Read the rest of this entry »