Death of E. Lynn Harris
Author E. Lynn Harris died on July 24, 2009. http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/books/07/24/harris.obit/ It is hard to believe this renowned writer has left us. Not since James Baldwin, has an author attacked the topic of homosexuality, but Harris took it to another level, exploring the down-low culture of black men who lives two lives.
Invisible Life, his first novel, will go down as a classic. Poignant, well-written, and personal, a young college football player embraces his homosexuality and enters the world of black gay men in the closet. Readers embraced the honesty of Harris’ work and have been entertained by his subsequent novels. He published a memoir, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted in 2003 that revealed his painful childhood where he was abused by his stepfather and discovered his homosexuality.
I was in Arkansas last week and had just left Little Rock to attend my family reunion in Union County when I heard of Harris’ death. He was raised in Little Rock and in the last few years he had returned home as a visiting professor at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, his alma mater. I am so thankful I attended his last Bay Area book signing in February at Marcus Bookstore in Oakland, California. He was a favorite of Marcus and the book club. His graciousness and humility was endearing to us all.
I wrote a blog this past March honoring Mr. Harris and his work.
May he rest in peace.
July 30, 2009