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    March 9, 2011

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Named Best Sci-Tech Book of 2010 by Library Journal

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    Library Journal has named The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a Best Sci-Tech Book of 2010. Click here to read the full text of their announcement.

    Library Journal also included The Immortal Life on their list of Best Books for 2010, stating:

    For the first time in Library Journal’s history, the Book Review staff has compiled a top ten list. The goal was to glean the very best the great publishing tsunami has to offer with the input of librarians and our trusty reviewers; the result is a mix of both the usual suspects and dark horse contenders. We hope it sparks debate—and circs—in your library.

    Click here for their full list of top books from 2010.


    March 9, 2011

    One Book, One Town Community Read: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

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    Trumbull, CT will be holding a fantastic community read centered around The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks from March 9 to April 16, 2011. Please read on for full details from Sue Horton of the Trumbull Library System:

    Trumbull Library System, Trumbull, CT. March 9 – April 16, 2011.
    One Book, One Town Community Read:
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.

    Read the book, join our discussion groups and satellite programs! Featured event:

    Who Owns Your Body? Panel Discussion. Fri. March 18, 7pm.
    In 1952 doctors took Henrietta Lacks’ cancerous cells without asking, and though they had no way of knowing, sixty years later those HeLa cells have replicated to launch a multimillion-dollar industry. Could the same thing happen today? Our panel of experts will discuss the evolution of medical ethics, and medicine itself since the 50s, as they attempt to answer who owns your body?
    Panel:

    • Richard D. Connell, PhD. Vice President, Head of Worldwide External Research Solutions, Pfizer Global Research & Development.
    • Mark Horton, D. Min. Protestant Chaplain, Campus Ministry and Adjunct Professor, Western Connecticut State University.
    • Lisa H. Newton, PhD. Professor of Philosophy, Fairfield University.
    • David Kaufman, MD. Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and Head of Ethics Committee, Bridgeport Hospital.
    • Joseph S. Wolenski, PhD. Lecturer and Research Scientist, Dept of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University.

    Pick up a copy of the book and join us for over 15 satellite events, shown on our website, and register.

    Trumbull Library System
    33 Quality St.
    Trumbull, CT 06611
    203-452-5197
    www.trumbullct-library.org

    Click here for a PDF list of all programs taking place during the Trumbull, CT Community Read of The Immortal Life of Henreitta Lacks


    March 8, 2011

    Paperback Edition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks On-Sale Today

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    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks will be available in paperback wherever books are sold. Stop by your favorite local bookstore or order online today.

    March 8, 2011

    HeLa Cells Mentioned at House of Lords Parliamentary Debate on International Women’s Day

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    “My Lords,” Lord Patel began at the House of Lords debate today to mark the International Women’s Day Centenary, “many of you will have heard of HeLa cells, but perhaps not….HeLa cells are so called because they were originally obtained from Henrietta Lacks-without her consent.” Lord Patel ended by advocating for the “launch [of] a global Henrietta Lack fund to treat women with cervical cancer and prevent it developing.”

    It is time for humanity to pay back the debt to Henrietta Lacks. How? Every two minutes in the world a woman dies of cervical cancer. More than 500,000 women develop cervical cancer every year, the majority in countries in Africa and Asia. To a majority of young girls in the world, a cervical cancer vaccine to prevent that disease is not available because it is too costly for those countries to buy and set up programmes such as those we have here. There is an opportunity for us to do so today, and the Minister, without any cost to the UK Government, could launch a UN fund to which we should all contribute-including the industry, which has made billions of dollars in revenue. We should launch a global Henrietta Lack fund to treat women with cervical cancer and prevent it developing.

    To read the entire debate, visit www.publications.parliament.uk.


    March 8, 2011

    Missouri History Museum Hosts Three-Part Discussion of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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    Today is the conclusion of a dynamic three-part discussion of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, hosted by Dr. Danielle N. Lee at the Missouri History Museum. Titled “Confronting Science: African American Perceptions of Science and Medical Research,” the series provided attendees with a unique opportunity to engage the issues of ethics and accessibility presented in The Immortal Life.

    Part 1, February 8 – Ethics: Issues presented in The Immortal Life provide an introduction to the history of ethics in science research in the U.S., as well as an invitation to explore people’s prejudices and the perceptions of science, scientists, and the research community at-large.

    Part 2, February 22 – Accessibility: The children and neighbors of Henrietta Lacks lacked access to quality long-term health care due not only to their economic situations but also to their poor comprehension of science and medical terminology. Such barriers to understanding still exist for many today, inviting a discussion on accessibility to science and health care – then and now.

    Part 3, March 8 – Faith: Both Henrietta Lacks and her daughter, Deborah, were women of faith. Faith and religion have often been pitted against science. Moreover, faith plays a powerful role in health and healing within the African-American community, inviting an exploration of the role of faith for the subjects in the book, including the author.

    Read more from Dr. Lee on her blog, Urban Science Adventures.


    March 2, 2011

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Takes Home Second Place Honors at B&N Discovery Prize

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    March 2, 2011: Barnes & Noble selects The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as the second place winner in the 2010 Discover Awards.

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Barnes & Noble Inc., the world’s largest bookseller, today announced that Canadian Kim Echlin’s nostalgic novel of a cross-cultural love story, The Disappeared (Black Cat), and attorney David R. Dow’s spellbinding account of his efforts to defend the seemingly indefensible, The Autobiography of an Execution (Twelve), have been named the winners of the 2010 Discover Awards for fiction and nonfiction, respectively [ . . . ] Eric Puchner’s darkly hilarious novel, Model Home (Scribner), set in Southern California, and Rebecca Skloot’s fascinating history behind the HeLa cells, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown), took second place honors

    Click here for the full text of this article.


    February 4, 2011

    Returning the Blessing of an Immortal Life

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    February 4, 2011: the New York Times talks to Rebecca Skloot about creating the Henrietta Lacks Foundation , and her hopes for the Foundation’s future.

    Since the book’s debut a year ago, it has earned rave reviews, prizes, a movie deal with HBO and a steady spot on best-seller lists. And Ms. Skloot is making good on her pledge to share the financial windfall with the Lackses.

    Shortly before the book came out, she created the Henrietta Lacks Foundation to help Mrs. Lacks’s descendants, some of whom suffered from the whirlwind of publicity, misinformation and scam artists surrounding HeLa cells, not to mention a lack of insurance to pay for any of the medical advances Mrs. Lacks’s cells made possible.

    “I first envisioned it as a foundation for education, but I realized that the people who were affected the most were her kids, and they needed some medical care and dental care,” Ms. Skloot said from her home in Chicago.

    Click here for the full text of the New York Times article.


    January 5, 2011

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Wins GoodReads.com Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

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    January 5, 2011: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks wins the GoodReads.com Best Nonfiction Book of the Year for 2010. Rebecca Skloot Wins GoodReads.com Best Debut Author of the Year for 2010.

    Click here for the full list of winners at GoodReads.com.


    December 27, 2010

    The Final Tally Is In: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Appears on Over Sixty Best of the Year Lists

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    December 27, 2010: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks appeared on over sixty “Best of the Year 2010” lists, including the New York Times, The New Yorker, People Magazine, USA Today, O, The Oprah Magazine, NPR, the Boston Globe, Financial Times, and the Los Angeles Times.

    Follow this link to the Immortal Life Reviews page for a closer look at selected press coverage of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.


    December 14, 2010

    Washington Post Names Rebecca Skloot One of Five Surprising Leaders of 2010

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    The Washington Post named Rebecca Skloot as one of their Five Surprising Leaders of 2010, saying:

    Prior to 2010, Rebecca Skloot was a little-known science writer. But with the publication of her first book in February, Skloot has hit the national scene with a graceful thud. In writing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Skloot is welcomed to our short list of the year’s great leaders. In her biography of the woman behind HeLa cells–those scientific wonders that have aided with the development of the polio vaccine, groundbreaking cancer research and advancements in in-vitro fertilization–Skloot tells a human story wrapped in racism, classism and hope.

    While The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks may be regarded as one of the finest reads of 2010 (it’s even being made into an HBO film by Oprah), Skloot herself shares an interesting story of persistence, compassion and dedication. Tinkering on the project for years after first being inspired in high school, Skloot never abandoned her goal of finishing the book. Often writing in solitude in a cabin in West Virginia, Skloot’s efforts seem more akin to giving birth than simply putting pen to paper. And as if her persistent efforts to simply complete the project weren’t enough, Skloot worked to establish a scholarship fund for Lacks’s heirs, a testament to her compassion for the story she chronicled and the relationships she developed with the people she captured in print.


    Named by more than 60 critics as one of the best books of 2010

    Movie Tie-in Bookcover Buy the Book The Movie


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    The Henrietta Lacks Foundation

    The Henrietta Lacks Foundation strives to provide financial assistance to needy individuals who have made important contributions to scientific research without their knowledge or consent.