BookPage named The Immortal Life a Top Pick for Book Clubs, calling it “a deeply intimate look at one family’s efforts to claim its legacy.” According to Bookmovement.com, The Immortal Life is consistently in the top 10 book club picks of 2011. The Immortal Life was selected for the first non-fiction edition of The Atlantic’s 1book140 reading club. Hundreds of book groups worldwide have read The Immortal Life with wonderful results — below you will find information and resources designed to enhance your group’s discussion of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
- Discussion Questions (PDF)
- Timeline (PDF)
- Cast of Characters (PDF)
- Download the complete reader’s guide (PDF)
- Listen to the Radiolab segment on The Immortal Life featuring Rebecca Skloot and Deborah Lacks discussing Henrietta and her cells, as well as exclusive audio clips of Rebecca’s interview tapes to hear recordings of actual scenes featured in the book.
- Real Simple selected The Immortal Life for their “No Obligation Book Club.” Their great online discussion concluded with Rebecca Skloot’s answers to commonly asked questions about The Immortal Life.
- Read about Rebecca’s writing process, her expectations for the book, and how she developed the book’s structure (complete with photos of the index-card story board she used to organize the book), in this interview with Nieman Storyboard, from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard and this interview for The OpenNotebook by David Dobbs (which includes photos of her research notes). She talks more about the book’s braided structure in this interview with the Read and Roll Show, where she explains how Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and the movie Hurricane, about Hurricane Carter the boxer, helped her organize her own material.
- Perfect for reading groups! Check out this reader-generated online Jeopardy! game – you can play with up to 12 teams.
- Looking for creative menu ideas for your reading group? Check out this ButteryBooks.com blog post to inspire you to have an unforgettable book club party.
- Visit the special features page of this site for photos not included in the book, videos of HeLa cells dividing, the BBC documentary discussed in the book, and more.
- Visit the FAQ page of this site for answers to many questions often raised by book groups.
- Read these profiles of Rebecca Skloot and watch or listen to these interviews with her to learn more about her book, her background, her writing process, and more.
- And don’t forget to check out the Events & Appearances page to see if Rebecca Skloot is coming to a city near you.