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Book Launch of JD: A conversation with Mark Merlis and Christopher Bram about gay history and fiction

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Book Launch of JD: A conversation with Mark Merlis and Christopher Bram about gay history and fiction
March 18, 2015 7:00 PM
March 18, 2015 10:00 PM
646 457 0859
February 19, 2015
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center
646 457 0859
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208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Merlis_Bram 500


Christopher Bram talks with Mark Merlis about Merlis’s new novel JD and how fiction writers use and transform the gay past.

JD is a chamber drama about one family, yet it’s full of windows that look out on the wider worlds of the Vietnam War, New York literary politics, and the gay revolution. Mark Merlis is a major writer and this is his best novel yet.”—Christopher Bram



Mark Merlis is the author of the novels JD, American Studies, An Arrow’s Flight, and Man About Town, which have garnered awards including a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Ferro-Grumley Award, and a Lambda Literary Award.


Photograph by Draper Shreeve

Photograph by Draper Shreeve

Christopher Bram grew up in Kempsville, Virginia (outside Norfolk), where he was a paperboy and an Eagle Scout. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1974 (B.A. in English). He moved to New York City in 1978.

His nine novels range in subject matter from gay life in the 1970s to the career of a Victorian musical clairvoyant to the frantic world of theater people in contemporary New York. Fellow novelist Philip Gambone wrote of his work, “What is most impressive in Bram’s fiction is the psychological and emotional accuracy with which he portrays his characters. . . His novels are about ordinary gay people trying to be decent and good in a morally compromised world. He focuses on the often conflicting claims of friendship, family, love and desire; the ways good intentions can become confused and thwarted; and the ways we learn to be vulnerable and human.” Bram has written numerous articles and essays (a selection is included in Mapping the Territory). He has also written or co-written several screenplays, including two shorts directed by his partner, Draper Shreeve.

His novel Father of Frankenstein, about film director James Whale, was made into the movie Gods and Monsters starring Ian McKellenLynn Redgrave, and Brendan FraserBill Condon adapted the screenplay and directed. (Condon won an Academy Award for his adaptation.)

Bram was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2001. In May 2003, he received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement. He lives in Greenwich Village and teaches at the Gallatin School of New York University.