The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
Keisha Carr (student), Jamaine Davis (staff), David Eisenmann (faculty), Bernardine Frazer (student)
This years selection, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, has content of interest to students in many majors. It connects directly to the life sciences and provides content for discussions of medical ethics. It is also a story of journalistic research and journalistic ethics. It is a study of history and employs oral history techniques. The emergence of a thriving international business providing cell lines creates an entrepreneurial/business connection. The book presents policy issues that society is still wrestling with.
The book is set in Baltimore and includes local institutions and geography that will be familiar to some students. Nominators, readers on the committee, and others have all described the book as interesting and engaging.
*Update 8/2013 - A Family Consents to a Medical Gift, 62 Years Later - NY Times
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Sequel by Rebecca Skloot - NY Times