Health, Medicine and Wellness
Elizabeth Gilbert
Bestselling Author │ Short Story Writer │ Memoirist

Annie Proulx has called her “a writer of incandescent talent.” Best known for her 2006 runaway bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is unquestionably one of her generation's most beloved memoirists. Eat, Pray, Love, which has sold more than ten million copies worldwide, is Gilbert's memoir of soul-searching and international exploration in the wake of her devastating divorce. Gilbert is a distinguished journalist who began her career writing for Harper's Bazaar, Spin, The New York Times Magazine, and GQ. In 2002, her book The Last American Man was a Finalist for the National Book Award. Gilbert's latest novel, The Signature of All Things, is a sweeping story of botany, exploration and desire, spanning across much of the 19th century. It has been lauded by O Magazine as “the novel of a lifetime" and praised by the Washington Post as "that rare literary achievement: a big, panoramic novel about life and love that captures the idiom and tenor of its age." It was named as one of the Best Books of 2013 by The New York Times, O Magazine, NPR, and Time Magazine. Her latest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, is a brilliant nonfiction treatise on creativity.

Selected Books: Big Magic: Creative Livign Beyond Fear, The Signature of All ThingsThe Last American Man, Eat Pray Love, Committed

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Tracy Kidder
Bestselling Author │ Journalist │ Essayist

Kidder’s exceptional and prolific writing career took off in 1983 with The Soul of a New Machine, a book celebrated for its insight into the world of high-tech corporate America that earned him a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Other bestselling works include House, Among Schoolchildren , Old Friends , and Home Town. Regarded as a master of nonfiction narrative, Kidder has enjoyed enormous success with Mountains Beyond Mountains and Strength in What Remains, which have been extremely popular with campus and community Common Read programs. Mountains tells the story of charismatic humanitarian Dr. Paul Farmer and his efforts to address the global health crises of AIDS and TB through his NGO Partners In Health. Strength chronicles the tale of a young medical student, Deo, who survives the ethnic civil war in Burundi and emigrates to the U.S. to find redemption through education and service to others. Both books are masterful accounts of real people who have prevailed against seemingly impossible circumstances to better our world. Tracy Kidder’s writing has appeared in numerous periodicals over the years, including The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Granta, and The New York Times. His latest book, Good Prose, is a guide to the craft of nonfiction, written with his long-time editor Richard Todd. He is currently at work on a new book.

Selected Books: Mountains Beyond Mountains, The Strength in What Remains, The Soul of a New Machine, Good Prose

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The Lacks Family
The Lacks Family, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

For many years the name Henrietta Lacks was unknown, but with Rebecca Skloot’s phenomenal and enduring bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a growing number of people from medical researchers to book group members and high school students are eager to learn more about her. Henrietta's descendants speak candidly and poignantly about the Lacks family’s experiences and the grandmother and great-grandmother whose cancerous cell tissue has miraculously become, since her death in 1951, one of the most important medical research tools ever discovered. The Lacks’s thoughtful and personal connection to the bestselling book emphasizes how proud they are of Henrietta’s contribution to science. Family members have spoken to audiences at libraries, universities, colleges, secondary schools, and various professional associations. They have presented to the National Congress of Black Women, The Morehouse School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, the Virginia General Assembly, The University of Maryland Medical Center, Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, Novartis Pharmaceutical, and many other organizations.

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Rebecca Skloot
Bestselling Author │ Journalist 

Skloot’s extraordinary debut, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, took more than a decade to research and write but has captivated readers from all walks of life, and has spent over four years on The New York Times bestseller list. Chosen as the best book of 2010 by more than 60 media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, People, and The New York Times, it is being translated into more than 25 languages and made into an HBO film produced by Oprah. In The Immortal Life, Skloot tells the story of a young black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951 and left behind an inexplicably immortal line of cells known as HeLa. Henrietta Lacks's cells—harvested without her knowledge or consent—contributed to scientific advancements as varied as the polio vaccine, treatments for cancers and viruses, in-vitro fertilization, and the impact of space travel on human cells. Part detective story, part scientific odyssey, and part family saga, The Immortal Life’s multi-layered approach raises fascinating questions about race, class, and bioethics in America. Skloot is an award-winning journalist and science writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and many others. She is co-editor of The Best American Science Writing 2011 and has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s Radiolab and PBS’s Nova ScienceNOW. She has taught creative writing and science journalism at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburgh, and New York University. She is currently at work on a new book about the human-animal relationship.

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Dr. Geoff Tabin, MD
Physician │ Humanitarian

One of Dr. Tabin’s greatest passions—mountain climbing—led him to a career of incredible humanitarianism through medical service. After summiting Mt. Everest, on one of his expeditions, he came across a Dutch team performing cataract surgery on a woman who had been suffering from curable blindness. He then realized that in the developing world blindness can be a death sentence and he decided to do something about it. He and his partner Dr. Sanduk Ruit have pioneered a low cost ($20) surgical technique that restores sight to those with cataracts and vowed to work to eliminate all preventable and treatable blindness through their NGO, The Himalayan Cataract Project ( which serves thousands of people each year in the Himalaya and Sub-Saharan Africa. Their amazing story is the subject of David Oliver Relin’s book, Second Suns. Tabin is Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Director of the Division of International Ophthalmology at the John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah. Tabin is only the fourth person in the world to reach the tallest peak on each of the seven continents, however he brings even greater passion and drive to the practice of medicine and healing.

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Norah Vincent
Bestselling Author │ Cultural Critic │ Journalist

Called “the new Steinem” by William Safire, Norah Vincent took a leave from writing her nationally syndicated political opinion columns in order to write her New York Times bestseller Self-Made Man, the story of a woman living, working, and dating in drag as a man. Narrating her journey with exquisite insight, empathy, and humor, Vincent ponders the many remarkable mysteries of gender identity as she explores firsthand who men really are when women aren’t around. Her followup work of nonfiction, Voluntary Madness, is a riveting work that exposes the state of mental healthcare in America from the inside out. Vincent is also the author of Thy Neighbor, and most recently, Adeline, a novel about Virginia Woolf. 

Selected Books: Self-Made Man, Voluntary Madness, Thy Neighbor, Adeline

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