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The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a series of recollections that Malcolm X narrates to his friend Alex Haley. In the book, the black leader looks back into his childhood, his adolescent years and his experiences on the streets of Harlem, New York. As he narrates and reconstructs his past, he also expresses his views on matters that concern the present. Throughout the book, the author is trying to understand his own behavior, that of his mother, his father, his siblings, and his friends. At the same time he seems to be reflecting upon and evaluating his own mistakes. E.g. In the Chapter "Laura"- he seems to be sorry for the way he had treated her and feels responsible for having destroyed her life.
The entire narration is in a casual conversational language, where the author seems to be addressing his readers directly. The book has a detailed preface giving information about how both Malcolm X and Alex Haley meet, how the idea of writing an Autobiography came about and some personal details about Malcolm X himself-his nature, temperament and finally the tragic end.
The book is divided into 19 chapters. But these chapters can be further divided into four parts. Each part or group of chapters describe and narrate a particular phase in the black leader's life.