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Around the world with Harris
Friday May 4 2007 12:03 IST

Striding towards us in his red-brown Fabindia kurta and jeans, Eddy L Harris greeted us with a strong handshake and settled down to speak about his work.

Harris spent his early years in Harlem, New York before moving to Missouri where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers come together.

Influenced by the confluence, Harris
single-handedly set out on a canoe into the Mississippi on October 1, 1985.

�It was my first time on a canoe and I choose it instead of a motorboat so I could be close to water,� laughs the writer who in 1988, released his first book titled Mississippi Solo, a chronicle of his river quest.

Harris, who claims to be not a travel writer, but a journey writer, travelled into Africa, starting from Tunisia for his second book Native Stranger.

The book beams a first person account from heart of Africa on its people, their real lives and their identities.

�There is a big misconception about the people of Africa. They lead their lives like you and me and I feel that Africa is evolving,� says Harris from his personal experiences on the big continent.

The writer also reminisces about his journey on a BMW 74 KS motorcycle for his book South of Haunted Dreams, through slavery�s own backyard of Southern America.

Harris has also recorded his time in Harlem in the book Still Life in Harlem and also his relationship with his father in his only book in French, Jupiter et Moi (Jupiter and I).

Talking about Jupiter et Moi, he proudly says, �The book is about the man who has made me what I am now.�

His dream is to pen an epic poem on the end of racism in America. Eddy L Harris who is now touring India, lives in Paris and is working on a book on the lives of the people of African origin living there.