Born in Flint, Michigan and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, E. Lynn Harris graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1977, earning a degree in journalism with honors. After college, Harris sold computers for IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and AT&T for 13 years before quitting his job to write his first novel. The resulting book, Invisible Life, was self-published in 1992 and sold mostly at beauty salons and black-owned bookstores. After being published in trade paperback by Anchor Books, Invisible Life became the #1 book on the Blackboard Bestseller List of African-American Titles and spent a total of 25 consecutive months on the list. Harris was an openly gay African American and was best known for his depictions of African American men on the down low or in the closet. He won numerous awards for his work including two Novel of the Year Prizes by the Blackboard African-American Bestsellers, Inc. for Just As I Am and Any Way the Wind Blows, the James Baldwin Award for Literary Excellence for If This World Were Mine, and the Lambda Literary Award for the anthology Freedom in This Village. His other books include And This Too Shall Pass; Abide with Me; Not a Day Goes By; A Love of My Own; I Say a Little Prayer; What Becomes of the Brokenhearted; Just Too Good to Be True, and Basketball Jones. His work also appeared in American Visions, Essence, Washington Post Sunday Magazine, Sports Illustrated and the award-winning anthology Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America. He died on July 23, 2009 at the age of 54.