A MAN FROM ANOTHER LAND by Isaiah Washington


How Finding My Roots Changed My Life
Email this review


In the search for his heritage, a former Grey’s Anatomy star finds a greater purpose.

After a DNA test revealed ancestral links to Sierra Leone, Washington finally felt he is able to connect to a part of himself that had evaded him since childhood. Chronicling his journey from the rough streets of Houston, Texas, to the silver screen and beyond, the actor lays bare his transformation from Hollywood insider to philanthropist and activist. His travels to Sierra Leone, originally undertaken to discover his roots, resulted in his transformation into an outspoken crusader against diamond mining. Washington skirts erratically from topic to topic, cursorily touching on a multitude of issues in both the African-American community and Sierra Leone, providing the reader with no real understanding of the causes he so doggedly supports. The language is often trite and oversimplified, and the story line jumps around erratically. There's also a litany of name dropping, with folks as diverse as Obama, Oprah and Ossie Davis making appearances here, among many others. Though the author hints at the salacious details of his Hollywood career, including the controversial incident that led to his dismissal from Grey’s Anatomy, none are given due attention, leaving the reader unsatisfied. Washington lays the framework for a follow-up, and readers can only hope he'll expose a richer, more vulnerable self the next time around.

A quick read that creates more questions than it answers.


Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59995-318-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Center Street/Hachette
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2011