- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A University of Tennessee professor has written a biography that explores the rise of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alex Haley and his literary influence.

Robert J. Norrell’s book, “Alex Haley and the Books That Changed a Nation,” was released this week.

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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