Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Live Forever

A true story of the quest to uncover an influential woman’s life is at the heart of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  Rebecca covers this adventure and her discoveries regarding the beginning of the immortal cells to the misconceptions held by her family.  Even though Henrietta has been dead for sixty years, her cells (known as HeLa) live on today and have helped make countless contributions to modern medicine. Sadly, none of this was explained to her family along the way and not only did they not receive any compensation for the use of Henrietta’s cells, but they also did not remotely understand what happened or what they were being used for.  As Rebecca details this extraordinary story, she struggles with the inequality of it all and becomes a member of the family herself.  The story itself is so unbelievable that it can only be non-fiction and Rebecca’s reporting does great justice in bringing this important bit of history to life.

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