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Award-Winning Writer Rebecca Skloot to Appear at Hendrix College


CONWAY, Ark. (October 8, 2012) - Best-selling author Rebecca Skloot will give this year's Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language keynote address entitled "Creative Non-Fiction: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Staples Auditorium at Hendrix College.

Skloot's lecture will introduce a yearlong exploration of "Literature and Medicine" in campus programs supported by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language. A book signing in Mills Library and reception in Mills Lobby will follow. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Henryetta Vanaman at 501-450-4597 or

Skloot is most widely known for her part-detective story, part-family saga, part-scientific quest, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The story focuses on Virginia native Henrietta Lacks, who in 1951 developed cervical cancer. She was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where doctors took tissue samples without her knowledge. Lacks died the same year without knowing that her cells would become the most widely used immortal cell line in future medical research. Her HeLa cells have furthered a number of scientific advancements in the past half-century including the polio vaccine, in-vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping. Lacks' family was unaware of her "immortality" or the profits her cells helped produce.

The Immortal Life was selected as a best book of 2010 by more than 60 media outlets, has been translated into more than 25 languages, and is being made into an HBO film by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball.

Skloot is also an award-winning science writer published in The New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, Popular Science, Discover, and other publications. She has written more than 200 feature articles, personal essays, book reviews, and stories for major publications. She has a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and an M.F.A. in creative non-fiction. She has taught creative writing and science journalism at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburgh, and New York University. She is also the founder and president of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country's "Up and Coming" liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country's best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Feel about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit