FREE Shipping for Club Members
Not a member? Join Today!
- [-] Other Available FormatsOur PriceNew & Used MarketplaceThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Hardcover)
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)$15.86The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Large Print Hardcover)
Publisher: Thorndike Press$31.99The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Large Print Paperback)
Publisher: Large Print Press$13.06The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Audio Compact Disc)
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group$29.75
Customers Also Bought
- The Fault in Our Stars
- The New Jim Crow
- The Emperor of All Maladies
- The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Book Thief
- Random Family
Adrian Nicole Leblanc
- Life of Pi
- Nickel and Dimed
- When the Drama Club is Not ...
- Other People's Children
- Can We Talk about Race?
Beverly Daniel Tatum
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of ...
- Orange Is the New Black
- A History of the World in 6...
- The Night Circus
More About The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootOverviewHer name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells-taken without her knowledge-became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons-as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta's small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia-a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo-to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family-past and present-is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed
- What Alice Forgot
This months' paperback releases
This month’s best paperback releases for reading groups feature notable authors and bestsellers.
MITCHELL’S JAPANESE EPIC
In his fifth novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell focuses his prodigious narrative powers on Japan in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. A small Dutch trading settlement on an island in Nagasaki Harbor is where readers first meet Jacob, a representative of the Dutch East Indies Company. Jacob hopes to make his fortune and impress his fiancée back home, but instead he falls in love with Orito Aibagawa, a Japanese midwife. Theirs is a tenuous relationship, as Jacob isn’t allowed to visit the mainland where Orito lives. The pair encounter greater obstacles when Jacob is treated unjustly at work, and Orito’s conniving stepmother sends her away to a sinister nunnery. Their stories provide the foundation for Mitchell’s most ambitious work to date. He populates his tale with a cast of memorable characters that includes Uzaemon, an old flame of Orito’s, and various seamen, slaves and government officials. Author of the critically acclaimed Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green, Mitchell, as always, pushes boundaries to create an epic and richly rewarding reading experience.
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
Taking a swing at America’s health-care system, Lionel Shriver’s latest novel, So Much for That, is a humorous and insightful examination of the patient-caregiver relationship. After selling his business for a million dollars, Shep Knacker plans to retire and travel the world with his wife, Glynis. But when she’s diagnosed with a malignant form of cancer, Shep finds himself serving as live-in nurse. Glynis makes for a terrible patient, but Shep endures her demands with the support of his best friend, Jackson, whose teenage daughter is also terminally ill. The two patients strike up an odd friendship as the men in their lives struggle to maintain some sort of status quo. Shep’s retirement fund dwindles quickly as he pays for chemotherapy and hospital stays, and Jackson is basically broke. Shriver depicts their plight in lively prose that’s meticulously crafted. She writes with delicacy and a unique understanding of the ways in which illness can transform lives and relationships. This is a funny, angry, compassionate novel that’s sure to resonate with readers.
TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
In this vivid mix of science and biography, Rebecca Skloot tells the incredible true story of Henrietta Lacks, a victim of cervical cancer whose cells made possible some of medicine’s biggest discoveries. Lacks, a mother of five, came from a poor African-American family. When she died in 1951, doctors took samples of her tissues without having secured her consent. Her cells endured in the lab, allowing researchers to formulate a vaccine for polio and treatments for AIDS. Henrietta’s husband and children had no knowledge of her invaluable contribution until many years later. Skloot becomes involved with various surviving family members, who had passed the intervening years in poverty and bad health, helping them discover the truth about Henrietta. This poignant story about the invasiveness of medicine is also a deeply intimate look at one family’s efforts to claim its legacy.