Eric Jerome Dickey
Eric Jerome Dickey at the 5th Anniversary of the African American Literary Award Show in 2009
| Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Eric Jerome Dickey, the best-selling author known for his novels exploring contemporary Black life, died Jan. 3 in Los Angeles after a long illness. He was 59.

Amanda Walker, publicity director at Penguin Random House's Dutton imprint, said in a statement, "Eric Jerome Dickey loved being a writer and all that it encompassed. He loved challenging himself with each book; he adored his readers and beloved fans and was always grateful for his success. We are proud to have been his publisher over the span of his award-winning career. He will truly be missed."

Throughout the Memphis native's lengthy career, he published 29 novels, including multiple New York Times best-sellers: Milk in My Coffee, Cheaters, Chasing Destiny, The Other Woman, Sleeping With Strangers, Resurrecting Midnight, Sister, Sister, An Accidental Affair, and Decadence. Dickey also penned the 2007 Marvel Comics miniseries Storm, chronicling the epic love story between the Black superheroes Storm (of X-Men fame) and Black Panther.

Fellow author Roxane Gay paid tribute to Dickey on Twitter, writing, "I am truly saddened to hear about the passing of Eric Jerome Dickey. His were some of the first novels I ever read about black people that weren't about slavery or civil rights. He was a great storyteller."

Dutton is set to publish Dickey's last novel, The Son of Mr. Suleman, on April 20. 

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