Women Journalists Explore Historical Narratives that Shape our Lives

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Authors to speak at Sweet Briar College Thursday, Nov. 4 and Monday, Nov. 8.

Power Trip: The Story of America's Love Affair with Energy.

Sweet Briar College will host lectures and book signings by two noted women journalists on Thursday, Nov. 4 and Monday, Nov. 8. Although they have different stories to tell, each addresses events that affect our lives in significant ways.

Amanda Little is an award-winning environmental journalist who set out to explain the nation’s energy crisis — how we got in it and how we’ll get out of it. The result is “Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair with Energy.” The book “maps out the history and future of America’s energy addiction in a wonk-free, big-picture, solutions-oriented adventure story,” says Little’s website.

She will speak about her book at 8 p.m. Nov. 4 in Sweet Briar’s Memorial Chapel.

Science writer Rebecca Skloot’s best-selling book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” explores issues of race, culture, science and bioethics in the telling of how modern medicine was profoundly altered by the death of a poor black woman in 1951.

Tumor cells harvested from Henrietta Lacks’ cancer-ravaged body became the first to grow and survive in culture. These “immortal” cells led to huge advances in medicine, including development of the polio vaccine, in-vitro fertilization and gene mapping. Scientists called them HeLa cells and they are still bought and sold by the billions for research today — although Lacks’ husband and children didn’t learn of their existence for more than 20 years after her death.

Skloot will discuss and sign copies of her book at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 in Murchison Lane Auditorium at the College’s Babcock Fine Arts Center.

Admission to both lectures is free and open to the public. Little’s appearance will be streamed live at sbc.edu/livestream. For more on these events, visit sbc.edu.

Sweet Briar College is a nationally recognized all-women’s liberal arts and sciences college near Lynchburg, Va. Information is available at http://www.sbc.edu.

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Jennifer McManamay
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