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.