Book Club - "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot

  • September 5, 2013 · 7:00 PM
  • Jess's House

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance.

Soon to be made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball, this New York Times bestseller takes readers on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers filled with HeLa cells, from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia, to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. It’s a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we’re made of.

 

Don't forget to bring something edible/drinkable to share with the group!

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  • Alana W.

    I loved the book, since I was interested in the ethics of science. BTW whose shoe did the dog have?

    September 6, 2013

  • stephanie f.

    Very good - the book sounded fascinating and the conversation was stimulating. It got too loud a few times, but that happens when a lot of people get together.

    September 5, 2013

  • Kristine S.

    I have been looking forward to this so much. I read the book several weeks ago. I have been dealing with several ruptured discs in my back and kept hoping I'd be able to come but unless I feel MUCH better tomorrow I'm afraid not. This is very disappointing as I think this was a great book.

    September 4, 2013

    • Sarah

      Oh, boo. I hope your back gets better. If you can't make it, we'll just have to see you at some other meetup and chat about the book then!

      1 · September 4, 2013

  • Cheryl H.

    I'm coming to book club but I will be late. Singing with Baker Community Choir and rehearsal is 6 - 8 in Baldwin. Looking forward to discussing this book!

    September 4, 2013

  • Kristine S.

    I will be there if I find the book. Just found this group a few minutes ago.

    August 12, 2013

  • Alana W.

    I am not done yet, but I really like this book it is any easy read.

    August 12, 2013

    • Sarah

      Proving our book club has exceptional timing!

      August 7, 2013

  • Lorie

    I was just at the public library today and they have at least 5 copies of the book available - so get down there this weekend and you won't have to buy one!

    August 2, 2013

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