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September 23, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Time Details:
A Novel Idea Book Group is monthly and meets online, for now, through Zoom video conferencing. To get invited into this session and to pick up a copy of the book, please call Arcata Library at 707-822-5954, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 to 5:00. If no one answers, please leave your name, telephone and email as a message so that a librarian can be sure to reach you for the discussion.
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6:00 PM, Arcata Library's 'A Novel Idea' Book Group, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Zoom).

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but she was identified by scientists as HeLa. When scientists used her cells without permission, the first 'immortal' cells grown in culture were bought and sold by the billions to develop the polio vaccine; gain knowledge about cancer and viruses, and map genes. They are still alive, more than sixty years after her death. Despite her contribution to world health, Henrietta Lacks was buried in an unmarked grave. This is a story that demands readers to examine the United States' immoral history of experimentation on African Americans, feel it deeply, and question - who controls what we are made of? It reads like a novel but it is the true story of Henrietta Lacks and the birth of bioethics.

The Immortal Life 

of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, cover with photo of Lacks in suit and heels, smiling.

By Rebecca Skloot

On the Cover

Doctors took her cells without asking. Those cells never died.

They launched a medical revolution and a multimillion-dollar industry. 

More than 20 years later, her children found out. 

Their lives would never be the same. 

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