The book's title reaches out to us workaholics who have never known how to do nothing, who fear it, and who pad our lives with busy-ness for reasons we can't quite name. But at its heart, it's not really about doing nothing. It's about becoming aware, taking back our attention, and diverting it away from the structures that harm us.
Skloot spent ten years researching Henrietta Lacks and HeLa while gaining the trust of the Lacks family to tell their story, which resulted in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a 381-page biography that explains who Henrietta was, who her family is, how they have been impacted by the cells, and how the cells have shaped the world of medical research today.
This is one of those books that deserves every bit of hype it got, and then some. It's a memoir unlike anything I've ever read: oscillating from first to second person, from happy memory to sickening abuse, and from straightforward storytelling to intricate folklore references.
This book is honest and smart, braiding together the theoretical, personal, and poetic. Read it if you're looking for something challenging and original on queerness and motherhood. I suggest you bring a pen.