The literary world lost a great talent on Thursday July 23rd when E. Lynn Harris suddenly passed away on a train to Los Angeles. Details of his death are not yet known. The part-time Atlanta resident and best selling author had been on a West coast tour in support of his new novel Basketball Jones. All ten of his previous novels have hit the New York Times bestseller list.
As a gay man with a tumultuous childhood, Harris often wrote about African-American men who publicly identify themselves as heterosexual but privately sleep with men. In an AJC blog post, Philip Rafshoon, Owner of Outwrite Books in Midtown, recalled Harris’ early literary career in Atlanta, including him spending $25,000 of his own money to self-publish his debut novel Invisible Life in the early 90s.
Harris was born in Little Rock, AR and called many cities his home during his lifetime, but most recently had been dividing his time between Atlanta and Fayetteville, AR. In addition, he has often read his works at our library. You can hear a podcast recording of his last Georgia Center for the Book reading at the Decatur Library by clicking here.