Thursday, February 20, 2014

E Lynn Harris...Cheerleader,Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Member,Former Computer Salesman,Novelist,Editor

Everette Lynn Harris (June 20, 1955 – July 23, 2009) was an American author. Openly gay, he was best known for his depictions of African American men who were on the down-low and closeted. He authored ten consecutive books that reached The New York Times best seller's list, making him among the most successful African-American or gay authors of his era.
Born Everette Lynn Jeter in Flint,Michigan, Harris moved to Little Rock,Arkansas, with his mother at the age of 3. Upon his mother's marriage to Ben Harris,his surname was changed to Harris. By the time he was 13 years old, his mother divorced his stepfather who had abused Harris for years. Harris also had homes in Houston,Texas,Atlanta,Georgia and Fayetteville,Arkansas.In his writings, Harris maintained a poignant motif, occasionally emotive, that incorporated vernacular and slang from popular culture.
E. Lynn Harris was 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 thirteen 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. Anchor published Invisible Life as a trade paperback in 1994, and thus his career as an author officially began.

Invisible Life was followed by Just As I Am (1994), And This Too Shall Pass (1996), If This World Were Mine (1997), Abide with Me (1999), Not A Day Goes By (2000), Any Way the Wind Blows (2001), A Love of My Own (2002), I Say A Little Prayer (2006), Just Too Good To Be True (2008), Basketball Jones(2009), and Mama Dearest(2009),all published by Doubleday, and In My Father's House(2010), published by St. Martin's Press. Ten of Harris's novels hit the New York Times bestseller list, and his books have also appeared on the bestseller lists of the Wall Street JournalPublishers WeeklyUSA Today,Entertainment WeeklyWashington Post, and Los Angeles Times. In 2003, Harris published his first work of nonfiction, a memoir entitled What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, which was also a New York Timesbestseller. Today, there are more than four million copies of his books in print.

Harris's writing also appeared in EssenceWashington Post Sunday Magazine, and Sports Illustrated, as well as in the award-winning anthology Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America, Go The Way Your Blood Beats. His novella, "Money Can't Buy Me Love" was published in Got To Be Real: Four Original Love StoriesFreedom in This Village, a collection of short stories edited by Harris, was released in the fall of 2004. His short fiction appeared in Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writers (Harlem Moon), a 2002 collection he edited with writer Marita Golden.

Harris won numerous accolades and prizes for his work. Just As I Am was awarded the Novel of the Year Prize by the Blackboard African-American Bestsellers, Inc. If This World Were Mine was nominated for a NAACP Image Award and won the James Baldwin Award for Literary Excellence.Abide with Me was also nominated for a NAACP Image Award. His anthology Freedom in this Village won the Lambda Literary Award in 2005. 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. He was named to Ebony's "Most Intriguing Blacks" list, Out Magazine's "Out 100" list, New York Magazine's "Gay Power 101" list, and Savoy's "100 Leaders and Heroes in Black America" list. Other honors included the Sprague Todes Literary Award, the Harvey Milk Honorary Diploma, and The Silas Hunt Award for Outstanding Achievement from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Harris was a member of the Board of Directors of the Hurston/Wright Foundation and the Evidence Dance Company. He was the founder of the E. Lynn Harris Better Days Foundation, a nonprofit company that provides support to aspiring writers and artists.

Harris died on July 23, 2009, while in Los Angeles for a business meeting. He was found unconscious at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills,California, and was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was heart disease. That same day, Harris had fallen ill on the train to Los Angeles and blacked out but was fine after, according to his publicist Laura Gilmore
E. Lynn HarrisInvisible LifeJust As I AmAnd This Too Shall Pass


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/81011.E_Lynn_Harris?bf=500&from_search=true
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._Lynn_Harris