Author E. Lynn Harris speaks at WSU

By Imani Williams

DETROIT - Best selling novelist and Flint native E. Lynn Harris visited the campus of Wayne State University April 1 at an event hosted by WSU's Student Council. He shared his formula for being a successful writer while overcoming depression and a suicide attempt to reach a level he never dreamed possible. He has remained a mainstay on the best seller list with Detroit readers.

Harris says his new novel, "Say a Little Prayer," due out this summer, deals with the relationship that certain groups of people have with the church and their God. He shares that he is currently looking for a church home that is affirming of who he is and challenges the faith based community to confront homophobic sentiment in their home churches with their pastors.

Harris' autobiographical account "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" led to his discovery of a passion not only for writing but for teaching. He is a Writer in Residence at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas. Harris says, "The experience showed me how much I've grown." He said that in going back again he's fallen in love with his home state, the students and his alma mater.

Harris says that even with all of his current success he is blessed when someone wants to meet him and that this keeps him humble. So he makes time to sign books and shake hands and share a bit of himself.

Harris is the adoptive father of a 18 year old college student who resides with him in Houston, Texas. He helped the young man to make the choice of attending college over joining the military. Harris acknowledges the challenges of teaching discipline while giving his son some of the things he wants. Balance, Harris says, is key. The jeep his son drives came with some conditions, including safe sex and no talking while driving.

Harris has authored, "Invisible Life", "Just As I Am," "And this Too Shall Pass," "If This World Were Mine," "Abide by Me," and "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted." Harris has been featured on Out Magazine's "Out 100" list and New York Magazine's "Gay Power 101." He has also been named to Ebony's "Most Intriguing Blacks" list and Savoy's "100 Leaders and Heroes in Black America."

Visit him online at http://www.elynnharris.com.

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