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.