Friday, July 24, 2009

A Life Far From Invisible

Renowned author and educator E. Lynn Harris has passed away at the age of 54 according to a statement from his publishers seen here.

I'm in a stupor. A daze.
I can remember when I was first introduced to E. Lynn's inaugural novel Invisible Life. Most young black gay men that I know have been affected and shaped in part by the writings of Harris. He is one of the only authors to depict gay black men as real men with real issues and hearts. His novels grew increasingly controversial, but always had at the core the spirit that gay black men were important and needed to be reached. None of the novels came close to that message as well as Invisible Life, Just As I Am, and Abide With Me, all of which centered around the most beloved characters created by Harris- Basil and Raymond. I can remember literally crying when Kyle passed away.
Born in Michigan, Harris grew up in Little Rock. He attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he was the school's first black cheerleader. He went on to work for IBM before blazing a trail in fiction writing. He died while on a West Coast book tour.

[Read more HERE]

So, what's next? We will never hear more from Raymond.
However, I did find that Harris was supposed to have a book release on October 13, 2009. The novel, Mama Dearest, brings the return of the scandalous diva Yancey B. I also found a cover that had the title Blame it On the Sun, but the cover shown below is apparently the real book. Hopefully it will still be released. He was supposed to be releasing a book of novellas called Love is Stronger Than Pride which was meant to have a story about Basil and Raymond. I guess that will never see the light of day.

Also, Harris just released an anthology of African-American fiction which he contributed to along with the series editor Gerald Early. I bought Gumbo, the last anthology which was wonderful. I will have to cop this one as well.

This is a big loss to the literary community as well as the gay community. Rest in peace, Brother E. Lynn.

[Check out the Official E. Lynn Harris Website HERE]

E. Lynn Harris speaking to Julie Chen about his novel
I Say a Little Prayer

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