His book was on the Times' Best Seller's list for months, and won the Pulitzer Prize. His story had captivated a nation and then the world. From Idaho to Israel, it seemed everyone was caught-up in “Rootsmania.”
Alex Haley, the ghostwriter behind The Autobiography of Malcolm X, was on his way to becoming the most successful African American author in the history of publishing until it all fell apart.
Based on interviews of Haley's contemporaries, personal correspondence, legal documents, newspaper accounts, Adam Henig investigates the unraveling of one of America’s most successful yet enigmatic authors.
"Henig recounts the highs and lows of Haley’s life with sympathy, addressing the critiques honestly." Publishers Weekly's Booklife
"While this 52 page book may be his first, it represents a major literary achievement. This book may renew scholar and the general public’s interest in Roots once again." - Nvasekie Konneh, Black Star News and author of The Land of My Father’s Birth
"Adam Henig has created a gem... A must read for anyone interested in the interplay of politics, race and mixed blessings of fame and fortune that produced the contradictory legacy of a onetime icon." - Terry P. Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Adam Henig attended California State University, Chico, majoring in political science with an emphasis in cultural and international studies. After graduation, he pursued his interest in African American history and literature.
Alex Haley's Roots: An Author's Odyssey is his first publication.
A book reviewer and blogger, Adam's writings have appeared in the San Francisco Book Review, Tulsa Book Review, The Indie Writer Network Daily, Medium, The Biographer's Craft and Blogcritics. He's also been featured on the podcast, New Books Network: African American Studies. Adam is an active member of the Biographers International Group (BIO).
‘Why had I not died in my young years – before God had given me children to love and live for? What unhappiness and suffering and sorrow it would have prevented. I sighed for liberty; but the bondsman's chain was round me, and could not be shaken off.’
1841: Solomon Northup is a successful violinist when he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Taken from his family in New York State – with no hope of ever seeing them again – and forced to work on the cotton plantations in the Deep South, he spends the next twelve years in captivity until his eventual escape in 1853.
First published in 1853, this extraordinary true story proved to be a powerful voice in the debate over slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War. It is a true-life testament of one man’s courage and conviction in the face of unfathomable injustice and brutality: its influence on the course of American history cannot be overstated.