E. Lynn Harris
June 20, 1955 - July 23, 2009
"Smile"- N. Cole
I am saddened to hear that last night, while promoting his latest book, "Basketball Jones," E. Lynn Harris was found unconscious at the Penninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. He was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. It is believed that he had a heart attack.
I admire many people in my life and E. Lynn Harris is one of those people.
I stumbled upon his first novel, "Invisible Life," by accident at an airport when I making a trip home to see my family after completing military basic training. I was 20 years old.
"Invisible Life," a book about a man who was stuck between two worlds, a straight one and a gay one, due to expectations from family, community and self, was instantly addictive and therapeutic to me.
Within the pages, I read my life. I could totally relate. I had yet to ever really talk to anyone about the way I felt on the inside prior to reading his books.
Honestly, E. Lynn Harris helped me loved myself a little more at a critical time in my life, a time when I had to make a conscious decision to live MY life or someone's idea of what it needed to be.
I went on to read every single one of his books because he quickly became my favorite author. I spent plenty of nights just me, some nice music and an E. Lynn Harris book in my hand.
I am glad to say that I reached out to E. Lynn Harris a couple years back to thank him for what he did for my life. To my surprise he responded back to me and we were able to keep in touch and even meet whenever he was in town. I got the chance to give him his flowers while he was still alive and for that, I am forever grateful.
E. Lynn Harris, I will miss you and thank you for everything. You touched my life.