Selected Press Coverage of The Immortal Life

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has been hailed by critics and embraced by readers. In addition to spending over three years on the New York Times bestseller list, The Immortal Life has been selected for over 60 Best of the Year Lists and has won many awards, including the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine’s 2011 Communication Award for Best Book, Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Public Library Foundation 21st Century Award and the Medical Journalists’ Association Open Book Award, General Readership, Non-Fiction. To read more reviews, or hear and watch interviews with Rebecca, follow these links:


Rebecca Skloot talks with Stephen Colbert about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, irony insurance, and little-known Centipede Cells.


Rebecca Skloot and members of the Lacks family talk with CBS Sunday Morning about Henrietta Lacks.

Dr. Manny Alvarez of Fox News Health Talk and Rebecca Skloot discuss the real ethical heart of the story: what happened to Henrietta Lacks’ family.

Rebecca Skloot discusses The Immortal Life with Tavis Smiley and describes the reaction to her book, which remains on The New York Times best-seller list.


Rebecca Skloot discusses The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in an interview with host Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air

Radiolab episode featuring exclusive footage of Deborah Lacks and scenes from Rebecca Skloot’s research tapes. 


Rebecca Skloot discusses her first encounter with HeLa cells, and her book on Henrietta Lacks, on The Bob Edwards Show

Rebecca Skloot talks about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on WHYY’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane. 

Rebecca Skloot discusses ‘Common Reads’ programs and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. 



Chosen as a Best Book of the Year by more than 60 publications, including New York Times, The New Yorker, People, USA Today, O, The Oprah Magazine, NPR, Boston Globe, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times.

“I could not put the book down . . . The story of modern medicine and bioethics—and, indeed, race relations—is refracted beautifully and movingly.” —Entertainment Weekly (read the full review)

“One of the most graceful and moving nonfiction books I’ve read in a very long time . . . The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks . . . floods over you like a narrative dam break, as if someone had managed to distill and purify the more addictive qualities of Erin Brockovich, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and The Andromeda Strain . . . it feels like the book Ms. Skloot was born to write.” —Dwight Garner, New York Times (read the full review)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a triumph of science writing . . . one of the best nonfiction books I have ever read.” —

“A deftly crafted investigation of a social wrong committed by the medical establishment, as well as the scientific and medical miracles to which it led.”—Eric Roston, Washington Post (read the full review)

“Beautifully crafted . . . Thanks to the author’s narrative skills, it is a tale that one experiences rather than reads.” Science Magazine (read the full review)

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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.