Out on 07 March 2024

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot

2010 Winner

The Wellcome Trust Book Prize

07 March 2024
9781035038619
464 pages

Synopsis

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a fascinating mix of memoir and science, telling the story of how one woman’s cells have saved countless lives. Now an HBO film starring Oprah Winfrey & Rose Byrne.

‘No dead woman has done more for the living . . . A fascinating, harrowing, necessary book.’ – Hilary Mantel, Guardian


Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. Born a poor black tobacco farmer, her cancer cells – taken without her knowledge – became a multimillion-dollar industry and one of the most important tools in medicine. Yet Henrietta’s family did not learn of her ‘immortality’ until more than twenty years after her death, with devastating consequences . . .

Rebecca Skloot’s fascinating account is the story of the life, and afterlife, of one woman who changed the medical world forever. Balancing the beauty and drama of scientific discovery with dark questions about who owns the stuff our bodies are made of, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an extraordinary journey in search of the soul and story of a real woman, whose cells live on today in all four corners of the world.

No dead woman has done more for the living . . . A fascinating, harrowing, necessary book.
An extraordinary mix of memoir and science reveals the story of how one woman’s cells have saved countless lives.
A heartbreaking account of racism and injustice . . . Moving and magnificent.