- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A University of Tennessee professor who has written a biography about Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alex Haley and his literary influence will discuss the book in Knoxville on Wednesday.

Robert J. Norrell is scheduled to speak at the East Tennessee Historical Society in downtown Knoxville at 6 p.m. His book, “Alex Haley and the Books That Changed a Nation,” was released last month.

Haley was born in Henning in West Tennessee and died in 1992 while a Knoxville resident.

He wrote “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” each of which sold 6 million books. “Roots” earned Haley his Pulitzer Prize.

Norrell argues that Haley’s books were the most influential and widely read works of African-American history in the 20th century.

Norrell is based in the UT Department of History and holds the Bernadotte Schmitt Chair of Excellence at the university.

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