J.M. BARRIE & THE LOST BOYS
by Andrew Birkin
Potter; 323 pages; 14.95
For 75 years audiences have regarded Peter Pan as child's play. In fact, the work now enchanting a new generation on Broadway is not fantasy but tragedy. Nor is it, as the subtitle declares, about a "boy who wouldn't grow up." It is about a man who couldn't.
The stunted adult was Playwright James M. Barrie; the event that maimed him, the death in a skating accident of an older brother. Jamie, who was six when the accident occurred, imitated David, and even...