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E. Lynn Harris
(June 20, 1955 - July 23, 2009) U.S.A.

E. Lynn Harris

Novelist

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E. Lynn Harris was born in Flint, Michigan and raised, along with three sisters, in Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he was the school's first black yearbook editor, the first black male Razorbacks cheerleader, and the president of his fraternity. He graduated with honors with a degree in journalism.

Harris sold computers for IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and AT&T for 13 years while living in Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. He finally quit his sales job to write his first novel, Invisible Life, and, failing to find a publisher, he published it himself in 1991 and sold it mostly at black-owned bookstores, beauty salons, and book clubs before he was "discovered" by Anchor Books, and thus his career as an author was "officially" launched.

In 1999, the University of Arkansas honored Harris with a Citation of Distinguished Alumni for outstanding professional achievement, and in October 2000, he was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.

Other honors have included the Sprague Todes Literary Award and the Harvey Milk Honorary Diploma. Harris is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hurston/Wright Foundation and the Evidence Dance Company.

In addition to his publishing pursuits, Harris has also completed a screenplay for a remake of the 1970's African American classic film Sparkle (to be produced by Warner Brothers with Deborah Martin Chase and Whitney Houston) and has been tapped by Fox Television to write the pilot of a new dramatic series.

He made his Broadway debut in the fall of 2001, appearing as the narrator in a benefit performance of "Dreamgirls," starring Lillias White, Heather Headley and Audra McDonald. He later returned to Broadway for one night in "Love Letters to America," alongside Rosie Perez, Annabella Sciorra and other prominent New York film and theater personalities.

Three of his novels have been optioned for film: Invisible Life and Just As I Am by Showtime and Not A Day Goes By by actress Pam Grier for her production company. His work addresses issues of homosexuality in the black culture.

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His work include:

  • Invisible Life (1991)
  • Just As I Am (1994)
  • And This Too Shall Pass (1996)
  • If This World Were Mine (1997)
  • Abide With Me (1999)
  • A Love of My Own (1999)
  • Not A Day Goes By (2000)
  • Any Way the Wind Blows (2001)
  • A Love of My Own (2002)
  • Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writers (2002)
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