13 Comments

  1. I heard about this book on the CBS Sunday Morning show and added it to my TBR list. In the interview with the author for that piece, I felt that she did have compassion for the Lacks family, but I also felt uneasy that she was making a profit by telling a deeply personal family story. I was also struck by the fact that the Lacks family did not have health insurance even though their mother contributed so much to medicine. It was heartbreaking to see the contrast between how much Lacks had contributed to the field and how much her family needed. Here is the link to the piece: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/03/15/sunday/
    My recent post The Sunday Salon #56: Pissed off about Books!!

  2. Thank you for this honest review of the book and for sharing your thoughts. I have been looking at this book…thinking should I purchase or not. I share your feelings about the stress which can be caused by media pressure/harassment and feel that such harassment is totally unethical. (understatement of the year there). I am more interested in reading this book now…thank you.

    • Hi Geri! It is a fascinating books and it generated a ton of heated discussion in my books club. I think some of the thinking was that Skloot's heart was in the right place and that she was trying to bring that cause to light, but I just had a hard time justifying the intrusion when the family said no repeatedly. In the end we get the book which is great, and I can see the hypocrisy in my recommending it so strongly, but it is still a question that sticks with me.
      My recent post The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot – Book Review

    • Well you will definitely get an interesting book that will provide you with some food for thought. I finished this one awhile back, but it definitely took me some time to figure out what I wanted to say about it.
      My recent post The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot – Book Review

  3. I've been wanting to read this one but put it off after reading about the author and how she went about contacting the family. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought she was a bit out of line there. I think I'm going to pick it up. Even with my odd reaction, my interet still hasn't waned.
    My recent post Teaser Tuesdays

    • I am still struggling with that, an dI am glad that I read it. It seems like the family came around and finally embraced her in some ways, but I was very uncomfortable reading about her behavior. She did put it out there for public examinination, so I guess that says something.
      My recent post The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot – Book Review

  4. You know when I read articles about Skloot's curiosity about Henrietta Lacks and her family, not once was there anything about how much she harassed them. Calling all the time for a year? That's definitely harassment. It wasn't her story to tell though it has opened up much dialogue about medical ethics.
    My recent post Sunday Salon: Read-a-thon Recommendations

  5. I have heard this is such a great book!

    I think you're right on in wondering about the necessity of harassing the family to get the story. IT does sound like it was harassment!
    My recent post Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki

  6. Kari

    Ah, I can't believe I decided to browse all the posts I've missed in the past couple of weeks TODAY because just last night I had a friend show me this book and say it's quickly becoming the best book he's ever read. And I had never even seen nor heard of it!
    My recent post An exploration through literature

  7. […] The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot is one hot tamale of a book that everyone is buzzing about.  I guess it should come as no surprise that Oprah, after reportedly reading it in one sitting, has decided to partner with Alan Ball to make it into a movie.  I think she must have gotten that from me since  that’s what happens when I read books in one sitting too! […]

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