Bram grew up in Virginia Beach, 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 1995 novel Father of Frankenstein, about film director James Whale, was made into the 1998 movie Gods and Monsters starring Ian McKellen, Lynn Redgrave, and Brendan Fraser. The film was written and directed by Bill Condon who won an Academy Award for the adapted screenplay.
©Bill Chiles, Courtesy of Christopher Bram. Christopher Bram & Draper Shreeve at the Metropolitan Museum in 1981 (©15)
Christopher Bram is an American author. In 2012, he published Eminent Outlaws: much of the literary history Bram recounts takes place in New York City, where Bram - a native of Virginia - has lived since 1978. Unsurprisingly, a large proportion of that history centers on Greenwich Village, where Bram lives with his partner, filmmaker Draper Shreeve. “We met in a bar talking about movies in 1979 - we are still talking about movies.” Bram has also written two shorts directed by Draper Shreeve.
Bram was made 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 New York University.
In 2011 he published Eminent Outlaws; much of the literary history Bram recounts takes place in New York City, where Bram – a native of the Norfolk, Va., area— has lived since 1978. (Unsurprisingly, a large proportion of that history centers on Greenwich Village, where Bram has lived since the following year with his partner, filmmaker Draper Shreeve.)
In addition to editing documentaries and commercials, Shreeve has directed four narrative shorts and three documentaries. “Kids of Penzance,” was shown on the Documentary Channel, “Everything Matters” and “Queer City” are currently in production. “Dangerous Music,” featuring Tony Award-winner John Benjamin Hickey, won the Bronze Award at the Houston International Film Festival and was included in the New American Short Film series at AFI. It has been broadcast on television in nine countries.
Born and raised in Tennessee, Shreeve attended University School of Nashville. He studied design and filmmaking at Pratt Institute and New York University. He lives in New York City.
Bram comes up with the most original, grown-up ideas for novels. In this case, Father of Frankenstein, I have to hand it to anyone who uses not the Second but the First World War as the context for their story. On top of that the protagonist is Englishman James Whale, the obscure (until Bram came along) director of Bride of Frankenstein. But this is not insider Hollywood, for showbiz queens only. Who would not be moved by Whale's loneliness and isolation as his career falters, or by the heartbreaking image of England's best and brightest - including the chums of Whale's youth - dead in the trenches while Whale survived in exile in a Hollywood bungalow? All of this is told in vivid, streamlined prose that makes obscure subject matter into the richest, most natural thing in the world. This is also the rare novel that got a top-flight movie treatment, under the title Gods and Monsters. --David Pratt
When Christopher Bram and Michael Bronski took me to lunch at Bright Food Shop on Eighth Avenue after I published my novel Boy Culture, I was so touched and tickled I´d have let them touch and tickle me had they so desired. Both are so talented and it´s been a pleasure to read both. Father of Frankenstein is a beautifully and simply written character study that was miraculously made into a great film as well. It´s a gay novel done right. --Matthew Rettenmund
Father of Frankenstein is a fictionalized life story of gay Hollywood director James Whale, best known for directing Boris Karloff in “Frankenstein” in the 1930s. Set in the late 1950s, when Whale is at the end of his life, encounters with a cloying film student and a blue-collar gardener, Clay Boone, lead Whale into reminiscing about his past life and loves, not all of which he wants to remember. Also a movie, “Gods and Monsters,” starring Sir Ian McKellen and Brendan Fraser. --G.S. Wiley
Bram is one of few gay all-star authors who have managed to get even better with age, each book better than the last. Gossip, however, stands out amongst the rest. A page-turner from beginning to end, this is one of the most enjoyable political thrillers I´ve ever read. Gay pulp fiction with twists and turns galore, and ample doses of humor and edge-of-your seat suspense. A perfect roller-coaster of a book! --Rob Rosen
Christopher Bram, 1988, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1123739)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digital
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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