Mapping the Territory: Selected Nonfiction
by Christopher Bram
Alyson Books. 258 pages, $23.95
THIS DIVERSE COLLECTION of essays by the author of the novel Gods and Monsters stretches over a remarkable variety of topics that range from AIDS fiction to the sexuality of Henry James. While most of the essays touch on some aspect of “the gay experience,” there are some that do so only tangentially.
An example of the latter case is “Little Green Buddies,” which examines the Frog and Toad stories by Arthur Lobel and the friendship between the two title characters. Bram writes that “the intensity of their attentions and worries certainly point in a homosexual direction,” but declines to answer the question of whether they are gay. Instead, he explores how Frog and Toad’s relationship mirrors childhood friendships and how they may serve as models for relationships as one grows older. Bram shows how children’s stories can help adults to navigate their complex world.