Who Wrote the Book Roots?

Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a novel written by author Alex Haley and first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent, sold into slavery in Africa, transported to North America; following his life and the lives of his descendants in the United States down to Haley.

Alex Haley’s Background

Haley was a writer and journalist who had already achieved success with his book The Autobiography of Malcolm X. He began researching his family history in the late 1960s when he started tracing his ancestry back to Kunta Kinte, a Gambian man who was enslaved and taken to Annapolis, Maryland in 1767. After years of research, Haley published Roots in 1976.

The Impact of Roots

Roots was an immediate success and became one of the most influential books of its time. It won numerous awards including a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a National Book Award. The novel also inspired a television miniseries which aired on ABC in 1977 and was watched by over 130 million viewers. The miniseries won nine Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.

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