Author E. Lynn Harris Died This Morning
The openly gay, best-selling author E. Lynn Harris died earlier this morning while on a book tour along the West Coast. The tour was in promotion of his eleventh novel, “Basketball Jones“, the story of a player in the NBA and his gay lover. While the cause of death is still unknown, his personal assistant did say that the Harris’s health had recently declined. Further questions, however, went unanswered. The celebrated author, known best for his books centered on life as a gay, black man, was 54 at the time of his death.
Born in Flint, Michigan, E. Lynn Harris moved around a lot, finally finding his home and settling down in the South. As a student at the University of Arkansas, he become the school’s first male cheerleader and was, till his dying breath, a giant Razorbacks fan. Later in life, Harris returned as a visiting professor in the school’s English department.
It was also in Arkansas that he first got his start as an author with his well-received novel, “Invisible Life“. From that point on, Harris enjoyed large success with several of his novels – writing eleven in total as well as one memoir – which often ranked well on the New York Times bestseller’s list. Harris also won the James Baldwin Award for Literary Excellence for his novel “If This World Was Mine” as well as the Blackboard’s Novel of the Year prize for “Just As I Am”, “Any Way the Wind Blows” and “A Love Of My Own”.
His books mostly spoke to issues of race and sexuality and he enjoyed a large and welcoming female following.