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E. Lynn Harris, the only son of a Little Rock cafeteria worker, was not satisfied when he attained financial success in IBM's corporate universe. He fell into a depression and began to write, self-publishing 5,000 copies of his first novel Invisible Life and peddling them out of the trunk of his car at black beauty salons in Atlanta. In an escalating triumph that rivals the ordinary-guy-goes-book-guru phenomenon of James Redfield's self-published, New Age The Celestine Prophecy, Harris found an agent, who found a publisher (Doubleday), and ultimately became the best-selling African-American male novelist of the '90s. He now resides at the Trump Hotel four months out of the year. Harris will descend on Durham's Regulator Bookshop on May 10 at 7 p.m. to read from last year's hit Abide with Me, which shares motifs with his four earlier books: romantic gay sex, bisexual men and the lingering effects of the AIDS crisis. For details, call 286-2700.

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