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24 July 2009



E. Lynn's death creates a void in the world of modern Black gay literature. There are a handful of good Black gay authors out there (Christopher David, Frederick Smith, Christopher Beckwith), but a lot of them are not consistent, and they do not spin the enthralling, mentally stimulating stories E. Lynn did. In most cases, their grammar is off, their characters are undeveloped, their stories are filled to the brim with unnecessary, explicit pornography, or their plot lines are underwhelming; E. Lynn didn't have those issues. His work was always professionally done and edited to the bone. HUGE LOSS!


((That and the sequel Just As I Am were among the earliest in a new wave of black gay literature that popularized and humanized black gay and bisexual literary characters.)0

admired his writing but he also popularized the down low!!! and black female down low detectives thinking every black man was gay


Sorry to hear this...loved his work.



I have been in a bubble all day with work and to emerge from it with this tragic news is stunning.

GOD REST YOUR SOUL, PRINCE! Your works and your work have changed our lives and our perceptions of our lives.

I know that the Lord above has you safe in the Arms of Love!

Sleep well.
Rest well.

Go sweetly into that good morning!

We each and all love you and are grateful that you exposed yourself and your heart that we would feel safe doing the same.

Thank you.


We, those who follow you, say THANK YOU INDEED and VOW TO KEEP YOUR GOOD WORKS GOING...and your truth flowing.

Kevin E. Taylor


I had the pleasure of meeting
Lynn when he came to DC last
year...great,caring soul

Thornell Jones, Jr. - Long Beach, CA

I just received a text from ATL.
I am simply stunned.

Me and my ex both worked at IBM back in the day. Being closeted, we used to notice him on the elevator when he came to NY for meetings and wonder who he was. Later when I met Lynn - long after we both left Big Blue for more creative pastures - We had a good laugh about those days.

I recall the buzz in New York about Invisible Life, and in fact have TWO copies of the book. His original self published version and the re-print. I felt as if he were telling my life story on every page. Every nuanced description and reference was spot on.

OUR world is forever changed due to the courageous creative spirit that was E. Lynn Harris.

Thank you, Lynn. You will be missed.



RIP E. Lynn

James M

I AM IN SHOCK. I cant believe it!!!


FIRST: R.I.P E. Lynn you were a truly a shining talent.

SECOND: I'm sorry in advance for the longness of this post I feel the need to unload amongst people that get it.

The first time I read an E. Lynn Harris book I was 14(!) It was Black Literacy Month in my local library in my small town in the UK and This Too Shall Pass stuck out like a sore thumb to me. Something about the blurb grabbed me and I swear I read that book in no more then about 4 days (owing to me rereading chapters just so I was really seeing what I thought I saw!)

E. Lynn taught me to accept and be happy with who I was, he inspired me to be the best I could be and encouraged me to find that love of my own. 11 years on and I still get excited about reading his books. No matter how many times I pick up one I still find myself Laughing out loud at his humor, Shouting at the characters dramas and crying at their sorrows.

I bought Basketball Jones the day it came out in the UK and finished it in a day and a half.

To know that I may never again get to hear an inspirational mind such a Harris express stories of Love, Acceptance, Friendship and Growth saddens me.

But I will feel assured that the impact he has had on my life was a deeply profound one. Anytime I speak with my friends I encourage them to read his books even going so far as to lending them a book I know full well I may never see again and yet do not mind purchasing again for myself.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his Son and his Family in this difficult time and also thank him for the happiness and comfort he brought to my life.


Bless you CJ. I'm sure there are many young brothers such as yourself who are also experiencing a similar sense of lose. It's been a rough summer.


Very sad...This event is teaching me to work harder on getting healthier, to stop taking life for granted, to take things slower and to give up on false ideas of "success". Both Michael Jackson and E. Lynn died of "hard work"-- one of the most dangerous and eurocentric (Calvinist) ideologies of contemporary political-economy. Many of us work 8 to 16+ hours a day and fail to take care of our health because we simply haven't the time to do so. Like Southern Africa's Khoi & San peoples once did, we should work at most three to four hours a day-- the rest of the day should involve play, family & home care, health care (exercise) and nutrition, education or complex thinking. Again very sad and quite scary...


I still remember when I first came across "Just As I Am" at the public library when I was probably 13, and how I read it at night under the covers with a flashlight... RIP E. Lynn Harris. Thanks for getting personal there, Rod.

Miami mike



I am absolutely shocked!!! I first learned of E. Lynn Harris in 1997. I'll never forget buying Invisible Life. I read the book % could not put it down. As a young 24yr old, struggling with my sexuality, i was just blown away at the story of raymond tyler(luv him) & his struggle. It just opened my eyes to black gay love,dl, homophobia in the church etc. I re-read of his book and as a 36yr old gay black man, i get even more wisdom from the stories.I am shocked & sadden to hear this news. Brother E. Lynn Harris, THANK YOU, for your heartfelt wisdom, courage to tell us your story of LOVE. You taught us that all we want is love, respect, and equality. My prayers go out to MR. Harris' family and friends. Rest in Peace, SIR. GOD BLESS


First Michael, Now Mr. Harris to cardiac arrest! What's going on?! That is so frightening, I'm sorry to hear this.-QH


E Lynn Harris' books are such a page turner. The novel, "Invisible Life" followed by "Just as I am" are two of my favorite fiction books of all time. I can remember devouring his books in a matter of 48 hours because they were just that good keeping me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going on with Raymond, Nicole, Kyle, ect. I read his books at a time when growing up in the Southeast USA, I was the only "gay" person I knew at the time. Being a southern boy reading his books made me want to move to NYC and live the grand and posh life like his characters.


My condolences to his family and friends. This death was totally unexpected, he always seemed so full of life.

I agree that his voice through his novels were/are important for the black LGBT community.
My favorites were

Invisible life , just as I am and his autobiography which I found the most inspiring!

RIP E Lynn


I so loved him and all of his work.He will truly be missed.


I am so saddened. RIP


I am in complete and utter shock. I can't believe it. E Lynn Harris practically raised me into an adult black gay man. 2009 is the year of many, many deaths.

RIP E. Lynn :(


I wasnt always a fan of the work, but he went out there and made it happen, as an OPENLY gay black man. He was truly a trailblazer.

nice tribute that his name is the number one search on yahoo.

Nathan James

E. Lynn Harris was a true literary light whose works highlighted the struggles we face as gay men of color. He was always available and supportive of my own literary efforts, and I will treasure his wisdom and kind words all my life.

God rest Lynn, and speed him on the way to Heaven. His golden words will continue to touch our lives here on Earth. A modern literary icon has passed from among us. I still can't believe he is gone!


So sad...R.I.P E Lynn...Will miss getting a new book from you....


With sympathy

Lee Hayes, author

I am truly saddened and shocked by this news. He was an inspiration to me and so many others.

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