October 12, 2011 Thanks to her almost preternaturally canny use of social media, conventional media, and real-live human connections, Rebecca Skloot had a bestseller on her hands the very day The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks hit shelves last year. The book has since gone on to make the former University of Memphis science writer virtually a household name, and today a press release from Random House explains why:
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was published by Crown in hardcover in February 2010 and has sold more than 1.25 million copies to-date in the U.S., print and e-book editions combined. It has been on The New York Times hardcover and trade paperback bestseller lists for a combined 74 weeks, and counting. The book was awarded the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine’s 2011 Best Book Award, among numerous other accolades. It was chosen as Amazon.com’s #1 Best Book of 2010, and named among the best books of the year by more than 60 media outlets, including The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and O, The Oprah Magazine.”
The occasion of the press release is the announcement of Skloot’s new book deal with Crown. Molly Stern, vice president and publisher, explained why she was eager to sign Skloot again: “It has been a long time since a first-time science writer dominated bestseller lists in the way that Rebecca Skloot has, and her success speaks to her rare ability to convey scientific and ethically-nuanced subjects with real emotional power and clarity. We are very proud to be publishing her next book, which will resonate deeply with a wide range of readers.”
The book, which so far has neither a title nor a publication date, will concern the human-animal bond, according to Random House: “She will explore, among many other subjects, the neurology of human-animal relationships, human nature and responsibility, and the unexamined ethics of our relationship with animals.”
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