The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
(London), Macmillan, (2010). The advance reading copy of the British edition of Skloot's biography of Henrietta Lacks and her descendants, which in broad definition includes the HeLa cell line, the first human cells to survive in perpetuity outside of a human body, and which were taken from the dying Lacks in the 1950s without her or her family's knowledge or consent, and used to create both miracles (cures) and money (though not for the Lackses, an impoverished black family in Maryland). Originally to be published by W.H. Freeman, who was bought out by Henry Holt in 2003; Holt reportedly wanted less of the Lacks family in the narrative, so Skloot pulled out and the title was auctioned to Crown. The book was published in 2010; the first U.S. printing sold out in a day, and Crown reprinted the book three times in two days. A surprising bestseller; the U.S. paperback issue remains on the New York Times bestseller list four years later. Oprah is reportedly producing a film version for HBO; in 2013 the HeLa genome was sequenced and published (an agreement for which was reportedly reached with the family after-the-fact). Smudges to foredge, else fine in wrappers (which are designed so as to appear worn and aged, like the photograph of Henrietta on the front cover). Scarce in any advance format. [#030813] $350

All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.