Women Writers Reading Challenge #65: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


You may have noticed this book popped up on my favorites list for Top Ten Tuesday. There were actually a number of books on that list that I haven’t done a post about yet, but they will all be coming I promise.

This book came out about five years ago, but it’s lost none of its relevance or potency. I usually enjoy books about medicine and science history, especially when they intersect social history, political history, and civil rights issues (sex and sexual identity, gender, race, religion, and so forth). Rebecca Skloot’s work encompasses all of these issues. It is the story of a family, of a discovery that changed the face of biological and medical history, and of the woman that made it all possible. And it’s also the story of another woman’s search for truth and the book she constructed.

The writing is totally absorbing. This may just be the quickest paced nonfiction book I’ve read in a long time. It will move you, anger you, and inspire you. I think everyone ought to read this book; it has amazing things to say that are relevant for all of us.