I just finished…

…”The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by Rebecca Skoot, which Adele’d picked off the FREE shelf at CafĂ© Bongo (not its real name). Probably you know all about it, so I won’t go into that. But I did think my reaction was unusual.

I was most interested in Skoot’s dealings with Lacks’s hostile, suspicious, feloniously inclined, and assortedly whacko descendants, whose cooperation she needed in order to write her book. I was drawn to shat she had to go through to write her book, but I sure wished she had been more honest about her reactions to these encounter and more inquisitive about her own motives in persisting with them. (Imagine if Janet Malcolm was writing this! I kept thinking.) It wasn’t until I reached the concluding chapter and it wasn’t about her and these people but about the “issue” of individuals’ proprietary rights in their body parts that I
realized how outside things I stood.