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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks cover art

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

By: Rebecca Skloot
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin,Cassandra Campbell
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Publisher's Summary

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 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 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.

©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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I wish everyone would read this

A beautiful mix of science and story. Heartbreaking and fascinating. Well narrated and something that should be essential learning for medical students and professionals. Have already tried to share far and wide so that folks know who Henrietta Lacks is and how she changed our world!

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True story

Amazing true story that is an easy listen. Even though it’s non fiction the narrative was excellent.

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An incredible journey

As a scientist, I was so interested in the themes of this book around scientific discovery, innovation and ground-breaking research. What I didn’t expect was to also be deeply captured by the poignant, moving story of the Lacks family and the moral dilemmas this book uncovers. This is a truly exceptional read that will stay with me long after finishing the final chapter.

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Enlightening

I really enjoyed this book, it was well thought out and whilst obviously science based you didn’t get bogged down in detail.

Definitely a story that had to be told and I’m so grateful for the health care system in Australia (whilst not perfect, leaps and bounds ahead of the US).

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An exceptional story, beautifully told

A fascinating story in of science, history and human behaviour, told in a way that is easy, engaging and with the deepest respect. Loved the narration too!

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A story worth knowing.

I had several attempts at reading the book so finally decided to give that up and audible it. Glad I did. The story is such an important ongoing moment in history and most people don't have any knowledge of it, and its effects on health systems. The narrator is easy to listen to and I felt I was lierally going along on the ride.

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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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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.