A classic queer Black novel series is getting a tv adaption.
HBO is developing a tv series adapted from the late E. Lynn Harris’ trilogy The Invisible Life, Just As I Am, and Abide With Me, according to Deadline. After Harris’ death in 2009, the Los Angeles Times listed Invisible Life as one of the “Top 20 Classic works of gay literature ever written.”
The books, which began their publishing in 1991 and won the New York Times literary award for LGBTQ fiction, dealt with the complexity of Black LGBTQ people living in New York City. Displayed through the eyes of a young Black attorney discovering his sexuality, the series explored bisexuality and the impact AIDS had on the community.
The adapted script is being written by playwright Harrison David Rivers. Rivers will also executive produce the project alongside Tracey Edmonds and Harris’ close friend Proteus Spann. In 2013, Spann won a Los Angeles Supreme Court battle against Harris’ mother. The mother sued Spann and accused him of fraudulently obtaining the rights to Harris’ literary works. The LA Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of Spann, according to the New York Daily News.
“It has been the passion of my adult life to bring E. Lynn’s masterful storytelling to a broader audience,” said Spann in a statement about the HBO project. “For many men, his books were a safe-haven; a place where they could see themselves long before television and film would ever attempt to accurately portray the subject matter. It is women, however, who make up a majority of Harris’ fan-base. For many women, his books became the first reference they could access privately and even begin to explore the possibility that their brothers, friends, lovers, and even husbands may be gay, bisexual, or leading a double-life.”