Everette “E” Lynn Harris (June 20, 1955 – July 23, 2009)
Over the weekend, a number of tributes and obituaries for the late writer E. Lynn Harris, a pioneer in popular black fiction.
Last week during a book tour for his latest novel, “Basketball Jones,” the bestselling author became ill at a Beverly Hills hotel. Harris died last Thursday night, July 23, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Harris self-published his first novel, “Invisible Life” and sold it out of the trunk of car, until he got a deal with big time publisher Doubleday in 1994. Harris created rich plots about the glamorous and complex lives of African-American professionals, both straight and gay. Harris is credited with being one of the first writers of mainstream fiction to portray male black characters living on the “down low,” in relationships with women, but secretively dating men.
Nine of Harris’ novels have hit the New York Times bestseller list, including “Just as I am: A Novel” (1994), “And This Too Shall Pass” (1996), “If This World Were Mine” (1997), and “I Say A Little Prayer” (2006). More than four million of Harris’ books are in print.
Harris was 54. So far, the cause of death has not been released.