I've been a fan of E Lynn Harris for a very long time now (my ex boyfriend bought me a copy of this book shortly after it first came out back in the early to mid 90s). I bought a copy of this for my current boyfriend because I thought he would like it (he did and he's now hooked and busy off buying all the next books! lol)
I rememeber the mainstream gay press in the UK giving this book a rough time when it was reviewed calling it schamltzy but I think they missed how well this book sums up life from an African-American perspective. Its been a long time since I read it but it was a formative read for me and I rememeber being enthralled by the warmth of the characters.
Its an easy going read but E Lynn Harris is a master of story telling. Its the story of the struggle to come to terms with one's sexual indentity. And while it comes from the perspective of the African-American community its a struggle that all gay men and women have to make regardless of their background. Some of the details may change but the journey is always the same.
Im surprised that noone has taken his work and turned it into a movie yet - the first 3-4 books would make a great black, gay 'waiting to exhale' type movie. To some extent Noah's Arc tried to take his formula and expand it onto the small screen.
Sadly E Lynn Harris died in July 2009 from Heart Disease which was so upsetting as I was looking froward to far more work from him. As it stands (according to Wikipedia) he published 15 books including his new book, "Mama Dearest" which was completed shortly before his death and is yet to be available.
As for "Invisible Life" its a "reet riveting read!" Thoroughly recommend it.