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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times best seller now adapted into a HBO film starring Oprah Winfrey & Rose Byrne.

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 20 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.

©2019 Rebecca Skloot (P)2019 Macmillan Australia Audio

Critic Reviews

"No dead woman has done more for the living...A fascinating, harrowing, necessary book." (Hilary Mantel, The Guardian)

"One of the most graceful and moving non-fiction books I've read in a very long time." (Dwight Garner, New York Times)

"An extraordinary mix of memoir and science reveals the story of how one woman's cells have saved countless lives." (Daily Telegraph)

What listeners say about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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An important story beautifully told

A spectacular book. It ballances the story of a scientific break through with a very human exploration of who Henrietta was and how deeply her family were effected.

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A remarkable story of many issues and an unknown heroine

The authors dedication to this family and the unknown heroine comes through. This Is a remarkable true story of a family that suffered loss many times over and had little real understanding about what their relative had unwittingly achieved. I sat on the fence about if commercialisation should go to the family but they certainly needed it. It is perhaps easy to see value in retrospect but so many tissue samples yield little beneficial. Giving a small amount to cancer research (in general) would be a noble gesture and might help families like the Lax’s. Sadly the US economy provides very little assistance to these families right now. Hopefully this will change post-pandemic.

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Amazing story

I love the way this story weaves the scientific knowledge of cells and tissue research through the incredibly interesting story of the Lacks’ lives. Well worth a listen.

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WOW

Amazing story loved it. So glad her story has been told and can get the recognition she deserves

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what an amazing story.

it was a fun book to read and now have listened to it also. was rivited by it both times. a well written sequel to events and insight into research.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 23-05-2021

Stunning real story behind HeLa.

This book is stunning in its complexity yet it is written in a way that encourages you to keep reading. I have the Audio book and listened over one weekend, stopping only to sleep. I will listen more slowly next time through.

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