(originally posted on January 23, 2010)
Skloot's book, a couple of decades in the making, is an astounding achievement. The science is as easily understandable as the moral and ethical questions are expansive and ambiguous, but it's the way Skloot seamlessly combines Lacks' personal story with far larger ones of American society and race relationions, and knits her own investigative quest with the many questions asked (and often unanswered) by the family. It's the biography of a cell line, yes, but it is so much more, and far richer, than a single logline can encapsulate.
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