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April 24, 2014

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E Lynn Harris: Dead At 54

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A Random House executive has confirmed to BV Newswire that best-selling author E. Lynn Harris has died.

He was 54. Most recently, Harris was on tour promoting his 11th novel, 'Basketball Jones,' which involved an NBA player and his gay lover.

According to Essence.com, the celebrated author's personal assistant confirmed that his health had declined but would not provide details as to what caused his death.

A cheerleading sponsor and coach at the University of Arkansas and a passionate Razorbacks fan, Harris' books dealt with black gay culture.

More recently, the Detroit native served as a visiting professor in the English department at the university.

The former IBM executive had just celebrated his 54th birthday on June 20.

E Lynn Harris Tomes

    Invisible Life
    E. Lynn Says: "The saga begins"
    Released in 1991, 'Invisible Life' marks Harris' debut as an novelist through this coming of age story. Law school, girlfriends, and career choices were all part of Raymond Tyler's life, but there were other issues for him to confront.

    Barnes and Noble

    Just As I Am
    E. Lynn Says: "Avoid sophomore jinks."
    Released in 1995, 'Just As I Am' picks up where 'Invisible Life' left off. In this vivid portrait of contemporary black life, with all its pressures and the complications of bisexuality, AIDS, and racism, Harris confirms a faith in the power of love -- love of all kinds -- to thrill and to heal, which will warm the hearts of readers everywhere.

    Barnes and Noble

    And This Too Shall Pass
    E. Lynn Says:"The country takes notice."
    Released in 1997, Harris takes us into the locker rooms and newsrooms of Chicago, where four lives are about to intersect in romance and scandal. All of these characters face the challenge of keeping the faith - in themselves and in God - while Harris's heartfelt storytelling reveals how the love of family can help one to face the terrible legacy of long-held secrets.

    Barnes and Noble

    If This World Were Mine
    E. Lynn Says: "A tribute to the fabulous friends I have."
    Released in 1998, four close friends from the Hampton Institute share their personal diaries each month at a gathering filled with humor, gossip, and affirmation. But after five years, the once-strong bonds of friendship are weakening, and the group must handle challenges of work, lost love, and a stranger in their midst: gray-eyed John Basil Henderson, a former NFL star whose past has begun to haunt him.

    Barnes and Noble

    Abide With Me
    E. Lynn Says: "I believe In Love."
    Released in 2000, Harris reintroduces his readers to the beloved characters of Nicole Springer and Raymond Tyler, Jr. Nicole has recently settled in order to pursue her dream of returning to the Broadway stage, and Seattle, where a late-night phone call from a U.S. Senator is about to change Raymond's life dramatically.

    Barnes and Noble

    Not A Day Goes By
    E. Lynn Says: "A diva helps me to explode. Miss number one by a whisper."
    Released in 2008, this thrilling novel marks the return of Yancey Braxton and John Basil Henderson. This time around Yancy is desperately searching for an audition on Broadway but ends up falling into Basil's arms. The couple's romance leads to their wedding that will be full of suspense.

    Barnes and Noble

    Any Way The Wind Blows
    E. Lynn Says: "Going to the river again."
    Released in 2002, Broadway diva Yancey Braxton makes a comeback to the social scene as a recording star. In addition to stepping back into the lime light, Braxton has forgiven ex-fiancé John Basil Henderson. As Braxton's celebrity continues to rise she fears that her past may comeback to haunt her.

    Barnes and Noble

    A Love of My Own
    E. Lynn Says:"How rich black people can some time act."
    Released in 2003, Editor-In-Chief of 'Bling Bling' magazine, Zola Norwood, find herself in a compromising position with media mogul Davis McClinton on a New York bound flight. One position is landing a position as his editor-in-chief. The other is landing the married man in her bed.

    Barnes and Noble

    What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
    E. Lynn Says: "I knew you when."
    Released in 2004, Harris opens up on how writing saved his life in this touching memoir. Not to mention his relationship with his abusive father, his 1990 suicide attempt, and his first gay relationship. The novelist stated, "The lessons I have learned are not limited to race, gender, or sexual orientation. Anyone can learn from my journey."

    Barnes and Noble

    I Say A Little Prayer
    E. Lynn Says: "God Loves Me Too"
    Released in 2006, Chauncey Greer, a successful greeting card company owner, makes his return to a singing career that had launched as a teen. Upon his return, Chauncey is caught in the middle of a protest over homophobia in church -- which is when Greer's former singing partner/lover makes an unexpected appearance.

    Barnes and Noble





Since bursting onto the scene in the early 1990s with his seminal tome 'Invisible Life,' Harris steadily wrote page-turner after page-turner. And his biggest fan base was women. With more than four million books in print, he originated as a self-published author -- setting the blueprint for independent authors to get picked up by major book publishers.

"I think I've been a success because I write about things I'm passionate about and have something to say," Harris told BlackVoices.com last year. "I think people relate to me because they know I relate to them."

A longtime author for Doubleday/Random House, Harris published a string of best sellers, including 'Just As I Am,' 'Too Good to Be True,' 'Abide With Me' and his 2004 memoir 'What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.'

Alison Rich, Doubleday's Vice President and Executive Director of Publicity, worked closely with Harris over the years. She prepared a statement this afternoon: "We at Doubleday are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of E. Lynn Harris' death at too young an age. His pioneering novels and powerful memoir about the black gay experience touched and inspired millions of lives, and he was a gifted storyteller whose books brought delight and encouragement to readers everywhere. Lynn was a warm and generous person, beloved by friends, fans, and booksellers alike, and we mourn his passing."

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