Rebecca Skloot: How Not To Remove Ticks

June 7, 2010

We hoped to get Rebecca telling stories that hadn’t been exhausted by the widespread media attention aimed at her book. She’d been seemingly everywhere in the months since The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was published; you couldn’t miss her—on TV, radio, in print, online, or making dozens of appearances in cities across the country. (See the links below for a sample.) Still, my question was innocuous enough: Do you have any funny stories from your road trips with Deborah that didn’t make it into the book?

Mission accomplished. And a great story of journalistic persistence, besides.

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More Rebecca Skloot
Her (excellent) web site
Skloot on Twitter
A 5000-word excerpt from The Immortal Life (
The Henrietta Lacks Foundation
Immortal Life Book Tour Trailer Part 1 (video)
Willamette Week interview
Jacket Copy interview
Smithsonian Magazine interview
New York Times book review
Washington Post book review
Entertainment Weekly review
The Colbert Report (video)
CBS Sunday Morning (video)
Terry Gross (audio)

Rebecca Skloot is a science writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and many other publications. She specializes in narrative science writing and has explored a wide range of topics, including goldfish surgery, tissue ownership rights, race and medicine, food politics, and packs of wild dogs in Manhattan. She is the guest editor of The Best American Science Writing 2011, a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine, and has worked as a correspondent for WNYC’s Radiolab and PBS’s Nova ScienceNOW. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, her debut book, took more than a decade to research and write, and instantly became a New York Times bestseller.

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