Saturday, June 5, 2010

Urban Fiction Author for June – E. Lynn Harris

Title: Invisible Life
Author: E. Lynn Harris
Genre: Urban Fiction

In celebration of GLBT Month, we would like to highlight an author who is openly gay or whose characters have an alternative lifestyle. E. Lynn Harris has dominated the urban fiction genre in a representation of both. He talks about being gay in his memoir, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted: a Memoir, written in 2003. E. Lynn Harris died in 2009.

Harris was initially unable to land a book deal with a reputable publishing house for his first work, Invisible Life, so he self-published it through a vanity publishing and sold copies from his car trunk. Since then, ten of his novels have achieved New York Times bestseller status. (Retrieved, 4/29/10, Wikipedia)

Invisible Life is the story of a young man's coming of age. Law school, girlfriends, and career choices were all part of Raymond Tyler's life, but there were other, more terrifying issues for him to confront. Being black was tough enough, but Raymond was becoming more and more conscious of sexual feelings that he knew weren't "right." He was completely committed to Sela, his longtime girlfriend, but his attraction to Kelvin, whom he had met during his last year in law school, had become more than just a friendship. No matter how much he tried to suppress them, his feelings were deeply sexual.

Fleeing to New York to escape both Sela and Kelvin, Raymond finds himself more confused than ever before. New relationships--both male and female--give him enormous pleasure but keep him from finding the inner peace and lasting love he so desperately desires. The horrible illness and death of a friend force Raymond, at last, to face the truth.

Invisible Life has been hailed as "one of the most thought-provoking books since James Baldwin's Another Country" (Richmond Voice), and Harris's "stories have become the toast of bookstores, reading groups, men, women, and gay and straight people" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Proceeds from the sale of this special fifth anniversary edition will go to the E. Lynn Harris Foundation, a charitable organization that gives young people across the country the opportunity to study writing with established authors, and also aids emerging artists.

From New York Times bestselling author, E. Lynn Harris, comes a vivid portrait of contemporary black life with all its pressures. This combined with the added complications of bisexuality, AIDS, and racism - makes Invisible Life a compelling and entertaining story.

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