Just As I Am

  • E. Lynn Harris's blend of rich, romantic  storytelling and controversial contemporary issues like race and bisexuality have found an enthusiastic and  diverse audience across America. Readers celebrate  the arrival in paperback of his second novel,  Just As I Am, which picks up where  Invisible Life left off,  introducing Harris's appealing and authentic characters to a  new set of joys, conflicts, and choices. Raymond,  a young black lawyer from the South, struggles to come to terms with his sexuality and with the grim  reality of AIDS. Nicole, an aspiring  singer/actress, experiences frustration in both her career and in her attempts to find a genuine love  relationship. Both characters share an eclectic group of  friends who challenge them, and the reader, to look at themselves and the world around thern through  different eyes. By portraying Nicole's and Raymond's  joys, as well as their pain, Harris never ceases to remind us that life, like love, is about  self-acceptance. In this vivid portrait of contemporary  black life, with all its pressures and the  complications of bisexuality, AIDS, and racism, Harris confirms a faith in the power of love -- love of all  kinds -- to thrill and to heal, which will warm the  hearts of readers everywhere.

  • Just As I Am: A Novel (Invisible Life #2)

    By E. Lynn Harris

    Paperback: 384 pages

    Publisher: Anchor; Anchor Books ed edition (February 15, 1995)

     

  • The saga of buppy sports attorney Raymond and his almost-love, aspiring black actress-singer Nicole, combines the soap opera elements of spiritual and identity crises, sex, death, sexual assault, cheating hearts, and lots of ruefulness and flings them against the backdrop of Raymond's gay-bisexual lifestyle within the African American community. Despite its mega-chunks of daytime-TV dialogue unbroken by any narrative or description of the speakers; despite its characters' propensity to sigh and ponder the difficulties of life while enjoying barely credible, nearly effortless access to funds; and despite its unfortunate habit of interrupting the action, such as it is, for fly-on-the-wall peeks at the main characters' psychotherapy sessions, the long novel does have its saving qualities. For sandwiched, too infrequently, between layers of stilted conversation is its redeeming element--some freewheeling, black dialect that captures well the tones and nuances of feelings between longtime friends, onetime lovers, and anytime sex partners. Whitney Scott --Booklist

Collections: Gay & Lesbian, Romance


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