Book Special Features


Photos

Below you will find a slide show of bonus photos related to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks not included in the book’s photo insert. See the book for other photos, and check back on this page—more slide shows coming soon.

Deborah Lacks at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Holding her Mother's Medical Records, 2003

Paul Lurz of Crownsville pointing at inmate wall painting at Crownsville

The Author With Cliff Garrett, Henrietta's Cousin, Clover, VA, 2009

Two of Henrietta's cousins at the Home House in Clover, VA, circa 1930s

The Author Rebecca Skloot Talking With Henrietta's Cousin, Cliff Garrett, Clover, VA, 2009

The Author Rebecca Skloot, Inside the Home House Where Henrietta was Raised, 2009

The Back Side of the Home House, 2009

Henrietta is buried in an unmarked grave in the field beyond her mother's grave (foreground)

Deborah Lacks in Front of the Home House in Clover, Virginia, Holding Two Photos of her Sister Elsie: One a childhood photo, the other from when Elsie was in Crownsville

Clover Main Street Today (lot where building in previous two photos used to be)

Henrietta's Former Bedroom in The Home-House in Clover Virginia Where Henrietta was Raised

The Home-House in Clover Virginia Where Henrietta was Raised

Inside the Home-House in Clover Virginia Where Henrietta was Raised

Sonny Lacks With His Granddaughter JaBrea During Her Baptism Ceremony

Clover Main Street (former bank in previous photo) 1999

Deborah Lacks's grandsons, Davon and Alfred, with the Author, Rebecca Skloot, 2000

Zakariyya seeing his mother's cells for the first time

Cell Culture in George Gey's Lab

Deborah Looking at Her Mother's Cells Through a Microscope for the First time, 2001

Deborah Lacks With a Print Out of HeLa Cells in Christoph Lengauer's lab

Christoph Lengauer Explaining HeLa Cells to Henrietta's son Zakariyya for the first time, 2001

Deborah Lacks looking at her mother's cells on a monitor with scientist Christoph Lengauer, 2001

The Woman's shoe in the Home House Deborah believed belonged to Henrietta Lacks

Deborah Lacks holding the FISH stained picture of her mother's chromosomes, given to her by Christoph Lengauer, 2000

Deborah Lacks and the Author, Rebecca Skloot, 2000

Courtney Speed, her son Solomon, and the Author, Turner Station, 1999

Courtney Speed and a Young Woman Who Worked in her Store, Speed's Grocery, With Lifesize Cardboard Henrietta, 1999

Clover train station, where Henrietta came and went, circa 1942

Sonny Lacks with his Granddaughter Jabrea After Her Baptism

Deborah Lacks with her aunt (Henrietta's sister), Gladys Lacks, 2001

Deborah Lacks with her cousin Gary Lacks in front of the family's tobacco barn, 2001

Deborah Lacks's Husband, The Reverend James Pullum, Baptizing Henrietta Lacks's Great Granddaughter Jabrea

Deborah Lacks and her brother Zakariyya, seeing their mother's cells for the first time, 2001

Deborah Lacks looking at her mother's cells on a monitor with scientist Christoph Lengauer, 2001

Deborah Lacks and her brother Zakariyya, seeing their mother's cells for the first time, with scientist Christoph Lengauer, 2001

Deborah Lacks's Grandson Alfred, Wearing 2 Pairs of Sunglasses, 2000

Deborah Lacks's grandson Davon, 2000

Deborah Lacks With Sonny Lacks's Granddaughters, JaBrea (left) and Aiyana, 2007

Deborah Lacks holding the FISH stained picture of her mother's chromosomes, given to her by Christoph Lengauer, 2000

Deborah Lacks and her Former Husband, The Reverend James Pullum

Tobacco growing in a modern day Lacks family tobacco field

Welcome to Turners Station, Baltimore Suburb Where Henrietta Lived Her Last Years

Deborah in her room at home, circa 2001

Sonny Lacks (in hat) and Deborah Lacks (in hat) with Some of Their Children and Grandchildren

Deborah and the Hopkins Jesus Statue

Deborah Lacks and Henrietta's Cousin Cliff Garrett, Clover, VA, 2001

Deborah Lacks, circa 1965

Clover Main Street of Henrietta's Youth

Clover Bank and Street Scene circa 1930s

Henrietta's Cousin Cliff Garrett Tying Tobacco in Warehouse, 2002



Audio

Listen to the Radiolab piece on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which includes audio footage from Rebecca Skloot’s research tapes. Hear the voice of George Gey and other central characters, and listen to key scenes from the book: Deborah seeing her mother’s cells for the first time, Gary Lacks’s faith healing, and more.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Video

Watch a trailer of The Immortal Book Tour, in which Rebecca Skloot talks about her book and the Lacks family joins her in public appearances discussing the legacy of Henrietta Lacks, their feelings about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and more.

Rebecca Skloot discusses a key (if unorthodox) moment in her book reporting process that helped her win Deborah Lacks’s trust. Hint: It involves being bitten by dozens of ticks and bathing in salad dressing.


See archival footage of HeLa cells growing in a laboratory in the ’50s.

HeLa Cells Dividing (with on-screen captions from the scientist who created this YouTube video): HeLa cells dividing over 27 hours. Cells round up, grow hair, and then divide.


Rebecca Skloot wrote The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks using a braided story structure that jumps around between multiple time periods and multiple narratives. In the video below, Skloot explains how she worked out the book’s structure with the help of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and Hurricane, the film about Hurricane Carter the boxer.


For more videos in which Rebecca Skloot discusses her writing and researching process (including telling several stories about her time with Deborah Lacks that didn’t end up in the book), how she came up with the braided structure for her book, how she writes about science so it’s understandable to a wide general audience, and much more, visit the Writing Resources page of this site.

You can also watch the BBC documentary, The Way of All Flesh, which Skloot discusses in several chapters of her book. (Link opens to new window.)



Additional Resources

Please visit the Teaching page of this site for more resources related to The Immortal Life, including a timeline and cast of characters, discussions with Rebecca Skloot, additional photos and video footage, and more. For book groups interested in discussion guides and other book group related resources, please visit the Reading Groups page of this site.

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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.