2010-08 Book Club

What: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

On Wikipedia: Henrietta Lacks, HeLa, Rebecca Skloot.

On BoingBoing: Read this: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks with lots more links in the comment section!

When: August 18

Where: Aquarium



You’ll have to let me know how this book is. I read about it recently, and was very curious, especially since I work with human cell lines all the time (not specifically HeLa cells) and I always wonder about the people they came from.

– Adrian 2010-07-09 11:21 UTC

I ended up not finishing the book! Shame on me, I know. The book has chapters on two different plot lines: The discovery and importance of the cell line, and the history of the Lacks family. On the one hand, I appreciate the personal background for the second plot line, but on the other hand I had a hard time liking it. There’s some slavery background, there’s constant racism, there’s the beginning of cancer therapy, disturbing details of a cancer death, terrible poverty, and when the story finally turned towards child molestation, I decided that enough was enough. I was starting to dread the family plot line.

At the bookclub meeting we had a lot of discussion regarding handicapped people and the ethics of organ donation.

AlexSchroeder 2010-08-24 13:28 UTC

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