The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
A review of

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


Stolen Cells

by David Meyer

Scientists took Henrietta Lacks’s cells without asking – cells that brought others profit and success.

If doctors took a tissue sample from your mother and the products of that tissue sample were now selling for more than a $100 a vial, would you seek payment? This is one of many questions arising from this biography of Henrietta Lacks, the unwitting donor of the most prolific lab-grown human cell line in science. National Book Critics Circle insider Rebecca Skloot thoughtfully blends memoir, biography, adventure and science to provoke consideration of research ethics, family ties, and issues of race and class in America.

Sklootthe former vice president of the National Book Critics Circle, has written for The New York Times Magazine, Discover, Glamour and The Best Creative Nonfiction. She taught at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburgh and New York University, and contributed to NPR’s RadioLab and PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW. Her experience as a journalist and an educator shine through in her presentation of this incredible tale.


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    C. C. 5 months ago
    I have read about this for years and still find this degrading to her and her family and I consider this to be a crime and every person involved should have been punished!
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    E. L. 6 months ago
    very inforamtive