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2012 Common Book Author to Speak at Otterbein Convocation

September 20, 2012

Westerville, OH—Rebecca Skloot, author of Otterbein University’s 2012 Common Book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, will speak at a convocation at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, in Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St. Skloot will be available to sign books immediately following convocation. 

Rebecca Skloot is an author and award-winning 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 has worked as a correspondent for WNYC’s Radiolab and PBS’s Nova ScienceNOW.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Skloot’s debut book, took more than a decade to research and write, and instantly hit the New York Times best-seller list, where it has remained for more than two years since its publication. She has been featured on numerous television shows, including CBS Sunday Morning, The Colbert Report, Fox Business News, and others, and was named One of Five Surprising Leaders of 2010 by the Washington Post. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was chosen as a best book of 2010 by more than 60 media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly; USA Today; O, The Oprah Magazine; Los Angeles Times; National Public Radio; People Magazine; The New York Times and U.S. News and World Report. It was named The Best Book of 2010 by Amazon.com and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick. It has won numerous awards, including the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the National Academies of Science Best Book of the Year award, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Best Young Adult Book award, the Wellcome Trust Book Prize and two Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year and Best Debut Author of the year. It has received widespread critical acclaim, with reviews appearing in The New Yorker, Washington Post, Science and many others.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is being translated into more than 25 languages and adapted into a young reader edition. It is also being made into an HBO movie produced by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball. Skloot is the founder and president of The Henrietta Lacks Foundation, which has been featured in the New York Times. She has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and an master of fine arts degree in creative nonfiction. She has taught creative writing and science journalism at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburgh and New York University.

The Common Book Program is made possible through The Thomas Academic Excellence Series and is intended to create intellectual excitement and strengthen bonds on campus by providing a shared academic experience for many surrounding an annual academic theme. For more information about the University’s Common Book program, contact Jennifer Bechtold at (614) 823-3202. For more information about Rebecca Skloot or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, visit http://rebeccaskloot.com/.


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