All first-year students are asked to read the annual All Bonaventure Reads text, which is the cornerstone of the University 101 course. Many other courses will adopt the text, and the entire campus community is invited to read the book and participate in the numerous events planned over the course of the fall semester.
The 2010-2011 selection for the Class of 2014, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” is the enthralling story of the forgotten woman behind one of the most important tools in modern medicine, and of Lacks’s descendants, many of whom feel betrayed by the scientific establishment. Lacks’s cancerous cells — the first to grow and survive indefinitely in culture — revolutionized medical research.
The book speaks to many themes — medical ethics, scientific research, the experience of African Americans in the second half of the 20th century, and the availability and cost of health care.
"The Immortal Life" has been named one of Amazon's top 10 best books of the year, and Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball have teamed up with HBO to create the film version of the book.
The book was distributed at Orientation to first-year students, who were encouraged to complete it prior to the start of school in the fall. Students will engage in conversations and activities throughout Welcome Days, University 101 courses and various campus-wide events during the 2010-2011 academic year.
Upcoming All Bonaventure Reads Events & Resources
- St. Bonaventure Provost Dr. Michael J. Fischer asked all incoming students, as their first official college assignment, to write a one- to two-page reflection on the book. A group of faculty and staff will read each paper and select a group of winning essays. Winners will be recognized in the fall and will have the chance to meet Skloot when she comes to campus in September. Letter to Class of 2014 from University Provost Dr. Michael Fischer.
- A special exhibition of segregation photographs from news media and other sources opens at The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
- Lecture/discussion on "Medical Ethics" led by Dr. Russell Woodruff, assistant professor of philosophy, 4:30 p.m. Sept. 20, Plassmann Hall Room 157.
- Read the book and meet the author! Rebecca Skloot will discuss "The Immortal Life" and sign copies of her book during a Sept. 29 visit to campus.The program begins at 7 p.m. in the Reilly Center Arena. Free and open the public!
- All Bonaventure Views movie festival: Films will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts:
- Sept. 22 | "Miss Evers' Boys"
- Oct. 13 | "Lorenzo's Oil"
- Lecture/discussion on how HeLa cells have informed HIV-AIDS research led by Dr. Adam Ritchie, 6:30 p.m., Oct. 7, Dresser Auditorium, John J. Murphy Professional Building.
About the author
Watch an interview with Rebecca Skloot and learn more about the book.
Watch Rebecca Skloot interact with Steven Colbert.
Read more about the selection at the author’s website.