| Eddy Harris|| Author|
| Saint Louis Priory School, Stanford University|
Mississippi solo, Still life in Harlem, South of haunted dreams, Native Stranger: A Black Am, Harlem
Eddy L. Harris Wikipedia
Eddy L. Harris was born in 1956. He is a creative nonfiction author, spent his early years in Indianapolis, Indiana before moving to suburban Saint Louis, Missouri at age 10. He graduated from the Saint Louis Priory School and Stanford University. Harris has served as a Visiting Writer in Residence at Washington University in St. Louis and as a faculty member in Goucher College's writing program, and currently lives in France.
Harris published his first work, Mississippi Solo, an account of his journey by canoe down the entire length of the nation's major waterway, in 1988. This work combined aspects of journalism, travel writing, autobiography and memoir, and personal reflection, and, as with Harris's subsequent works, focused specifically on questions of African-American identity in relation to history and place. Mississippi Solo was the 2003-2004 selection of Missouri ReadMOre, a statewide book-reading program, and Harris received the Missouri Governor's Humanities Award for this work in 2004.
His second book, Native Stranger, a critical and unsparing account of his journey through Africa, led to a loss of some Black readers. Instead of a valentine, Harris described the poverty and corruption he witnessed in many places, as well as the despair he both saw and felt at times. He has said in an interview that after the book's publication, some Black readers even showed up at readings to denounce him.
South of Haunted Dreams has been acclaimed as the best book ever written on race in America.
In a 2005 interview with Missy Raterman and Zoe Wexler in nidus, a literary and arts journal based at the University of Pittsburgh, Harris described his work as "certainly travel, because it has some aspects of travel in it, though it isn't like Paul Theroux's travel books. Essay works best for me because I just like the idea of being an essayist. It is memoirist because it is me and my memories – but that's a marketing thing." In the same interview, he questioned the automatic categorization of him as a "Black" writer and its effects on how his work might be read, though he also acknowledged his desire for his work to create bridges both within and outside Black culture.
Practically unrecognized in the USA and nearly out of print, he now lives in France where he has been awarded the 21st (2007) Prix du Livre en Poitou-Charentes for Still Life in Harlem (published as Harlem in France), and his work has been acknowledged by the Centre national du livre – notably for Jupiter et Moi, a memoir about the life of a black man and his son. Liana Levi is his French publisher; The last book to have been published is "Paris en noir et black"(Liana Levi, 2009), a translation of "Paris reflected in Black and White"( Trans.Jean Guiloineau).
"[Harris] is not your everyday tourist. His travels almost always have a purpose." USA Today
"... these wanderings have brought him to some fragile peace." People Magazine
"... Most notable for the bridges he builds with other people." San Francisco Chronicle
Since 2014 Harris has been at work producing a documentary film about his second canoe journey down the Mississippi River, River to the Heart.James Baldwin
Mississippi Solo, 1988.
Native Stranger, 1992. (Selected as a New York Times Notable Book of 1992)
South of Haunted Dreams, 1993.
Still Life in Harlem, 1996. (Selected as a New York Times Notable Book of 1997), translated into French as Harlem, 2007.
Jupiter et Moi, 2005.
Paris en noir et black, 2009.