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Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Source: Jody Cortes / Getty

Eric Jerome Dickey wrote about love and relationships as if he was speaking directly to readers. One of the first “grown folks” authors for a generation of Black book readers, he would elevate the genre with books such as Sister, Sister, Liar’s Game, Friends & Lovers, Cheaters, Milk In My Coffee and more.

Dickey passed away in Los Angeles on Sunday (January 3) according to his publicist after a long illness. He was 59.

The author, affectionately known as EJD by readers, fans, peers and more was born in Memphis, Tennessee where he would later graduate from the University of Memphis (then known as Memphis State) in 1983 in computer systems technology. In 1983, he would move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in engineering but the lure of entertainment and Hollywood bit him. He would go on to write several comedy scripts before giving a try to writing novels about contemporary Black life.

In the late ’90s well into the early 2000s, he was a literary giant as his books quickly became New York Times Best Sellers. In total, he wrote more than 30 novels and short stories, with only his first two not making the New York Times list. He even wrote a graphic novel for Storm of the X-Men, a book reimagining the initial meeting between Storm and Black Panther.

A lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha, he promoted Black literature wherever he went, including taking part in the National Black Book Festival and more.

Our thoughts and prayers and condolences to his family, friends and more.

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