I’m not sure when I turned a corner, but in previous non-fiction reviews I would always say, “I don’t read a lot of non-fiction buuuut…” somehow, as I’m look at maybe my 10th non-fiction review in the past two years, I think I’ve turned into a non-fiction reader. It’s still a bit of a struggle at times, I get bogged down when there are a multitude of characters, but I have really grown to enjoy learning about real life accounts, particularly memoirs and historical accounts of minorities and the marginalized. I share this anecdote in case, like me, you always […]
There was a heaviness to my chest after I finished Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010). I was in the midst of what felt like a social, emotional, philosophical, and moral gyre that highlighted the uglies of science, race, poverty, and many —isms. I couldn’t put into words what I was feeling because there was just too much. Read the full review.
Others have reviewed this for Cannonball Read already, so here are the basics in case you missed it: Henrietta Lacks was a black woman who died at Johns Hopkins, where she had been admitted due to complications from cervical cancer. She had radium treatment at one point, and when she received the treatment, a biopsy of her tumor was taken at the request of a researcher. From there, the cells were cultured and became some of the first that would grow, and keep on growing, in a lab, making them perfect for testing all sorts of things, including the polio […]
“She’s the most important person in the world and her family living in poverty. If our mother is so important to science, why can’t we get health insurance?” Y’all, this is a good book. I read a lot of non-fiction, and this book moves faster and stays interesting in a way where a lot of non-fiction falls short. Rebecca Skloot is a talented writer and researcher, and I can’t wait to see what she tackles next. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is about a woman named (you guessed it) Henrietta Lacks, who passed away at a relatively young age from […]