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Culture Vultures

A book about an immortal woman, the lure of Shakespeare, civil rights reframed, and more


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Carrie Spitler, Neighborhood Writing Alliance executive director, is reading:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

I'm about a third of the way through. The story is about this woman, Henrietta Lacks, whose cells are being used by people who are studying cancer. The thing I love about it is that it tells this story of an individual who's hidden behind this huge corporate business. All of us want cancer research to move ahead, but it's being done without any recognition of who's being studied, down to the cellular level. It's a fascinating look at how it all started, and the impact on her family—who didn't know for years that her cells were being used that way. Skloot's coming to Chicago in May—I'm going to see her and really looking forward to it.

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