Born in Stamford, Connecticut, he earned a BA from Wesleyan University in 1971 and a PhD from Brown University in 1975.
In 1989, Trouble the Water won the Charles H. and N. Mildred Nilon Excellence in Minority Fiction Award. University Presses/In Short; Fiction - New York Times
He was a Professor of Literature at Queens College from 1980 until his death, at age 42. He died of AIDS in his hometown, one year after his partner Richard Horovitz did. Richard Horovitz, 44, Foundation Executive - New York Times