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A heartbreaking account of a medical miracle: how one woman's cells – taken without her knowledge – have saved countless lives. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a true story of race, class, injustice and exploitation.
'No dead woman has done more for the living . . . A fascinating, harrowing, necessary book.' – Hilary Mantel, Guardian
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 moving 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.
Now an HBO film starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne.