Books

Talks, movie showings and more in store for Cuesta’s Book of the Year celebration

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” author Rebecca Skloot poses with members of the Lacks family. Skloot’s best-selling book is the focus of Cuesta College’s 2017 Book of the Year program.
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” author Rebecca Skloot poses with members of the Lacks family. Skloot’s best-selling book is the focus of Cuesta College’s 2017 Book of the Year program.

Community members will have plenty of opportunities in coming months to dig deeper into Cuesta College’s 2017 Book of the Year selection, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

Written by Rebecca Skloot, the best-selling book explores the life and legacy of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells — taken without her knowledge or permission in 1951 — have led to remarkable medical discoveries. (An HBO movie based on Skloot’s book will air in April.)

Two of Lacks’ grandchildren, Kim Lacks and Alfred Carter Jr., will participate in a presentation and book signing April 12 at Cuesta’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo. Although tickets for the event are no longer available online, they can be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis at the CPAC box office the day of the talk.

Other Book of the Year highlights include a March 10 talk by Cuesta nursing faculty members on “Ethical Dilemmas in the News” and a March 17 lecture by Cuesta microbiology instructor Elizabeth Lobo on “Tissue Culture Today.” Both events will be at the community college’s San Luis Obispo campus, which will also host a March 23 open house by the Cuesta STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Club.

Cuesta and Cal Poly faculty and students will join Lacks’ relatives April 12 for a panel discussion and workshop on science and biomedical ethics at Cuesta’s San Luis Obispo campus.

Also in store are movie screenings. The documentary “The Polio Crusade,” about Dr. Jonas Salk’s quest to develop a polio vaccine, will be shown March 21 at the San Luis Obispo Library.

“Miss Evers’ Boys,” a film about the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment, will be shown April 6 at Paso Robles City Library and April 11 at Cuesta’s Cultural Center in San Luis Obispo.

Now in its ninth year, the Book of the Year program is sponsored by Cuesta College and San Luis Obispo City-County Library. For more information, visit www.cuesta.edu/library/book.

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