Charles Flowers
E. Lynn Harris dies at 54; bestselling author broke barriers writing about gay black characters

E. Lynn Harris, a bestselling author of popular black fiction who shattered barriers by writing about gay characters in novels such as "Invisible Life" and "Just As I Am: A Novel," died Thursday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 54. Harris, who divided his time between Atlanta and Fayetteville, Ark., became ill at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills during a visit to Los Angeles, his publicist, Laura Gilmore, said Friday. The coroner's office is conducting an autopsy, she said. "E. Lynn broke barriers in popular fiction by writing of gay black characters in a time when those stories were not visible to most Americans and certainly...