Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Cell That Changed the World--Rebecca Skloot Visiting for Wednesday, September 1st

Having just hosted an event about the unforeseen dangers of cloning (in a futuristic literary thriller, The Bradbury Report), I was ready to tackle a contemporary story of cell cloning. So we’re thrilled that after much work on everyone’s part, we’re hosting Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on Wednesday, September 1st, at 7 PM.

The book’s been in my to-be-read pile since it came out in the spring, but there’s nothing like an event booking to send a book to the top of the pile. And what a story it is—Skloot tells the story of Lacks’ cancer cells while also telling the story of Lacks’ family, and how they were left behind in the profits made from the cell cultivation.

It's an amazing story, and if you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it.

Want to see a video? Here's Skloot discussing the book with Tavis Smiley on PBS. And for a different take, here she is on The Colbert Report. Just a correction, her next book is on leeches, not this one.

If you read the book, one question you might have is whether Skloot started the educational foundation she proposed during the narrative. Well, she did. Here's a link on the Henrietta Lacks Foundation, providing educational scholarships and help with healthcare costs to the descendants of Lacks. And yes, Skloot is donating a portion of the proceeds of the book to this effor.

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