Literature 35: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a touching, yet shocking tale of a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells, taken without her knowledge, ultimately influenced almost every aspect of medicine today. As scientists often point out, if you’ve taken anything stronger than an aspirin, you can probably thank Henrietta. The book is a New York Times bestseller, but many who read its pages are often left with many questions about the family, medical ethics and racial and privacy issues. We talk with Henrietta’s granddaughter and great-granddaughter about the book, Henrietta and the soon to be made HBO movie based on this book.