Best Armistead Maupin books

Logical Family: A Memoir

Armistead Maupin

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"A book for any of us, gay or straight, who have had to find our family. Maupin is one of America’s finest storytellers."—Neil Gaiman

"I fell in love with Maupin’s effervescent Tales of the City decades ago, and his genius turn at memoir is no less compelling. Logical Family is a must read."—Mary Karr

In this long-awaited memoir, the beloved author of the bestselling Tales of the City series chronicles his odyssey from the old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to ground-breaking writer and gay rights pioneer.

Born in the mid-twentieth century and raised in the heart of conservative North Carolina, Armistead Maupin lost his virginity to another man "on the very spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired." Realizing that the South was too small for him, this son of a traditional lawyer packed his earthly belongings into his Opel GT (including a beloved portrait of a Confederate ancestor), and took to the road in search of adventure. It was a journey that would lead him from a homoerotic Navy initiation ceremony in the jungles of Vietnam to that strangest of strange lands: San Francisco in the early 1970s.

Reflecting on the profound impact those closest to him have had on his life, Maupin shares his candid search for his "logical family," the people he could call his own. "Sooner or later, we have to venture beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense for us," he writes. "We have to, if we are to live without squandering our lives." From his loving relationship with his palm-reading Grannie who insisted Maupin was the reincarnation of her artistic bachelor cousin, Curtis, to an awkward conversation about girls with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, Maupin tells of the extraordinary individuals and situations that shaped him into one of the most influential writers of the last century.

Maupin recalls his losses and life-changing experiences with humor and unflinching honesty, and brings to life flesh-and-blood characters as endearing and unforgettable as the vivid, fraught men and women who populate his enchanting novels. What emerges is an illuminating portrait of the man who depicted the liberation and evolution of America’s queer community over the last four decades with honesty and compassion—and inspired millions to claim their own lives.

Logical Family includes black-and-white photographs.

28 Barbary Lane: "Tales of the City" Books 1-3 (Tales of the City Omnibus)

Armistead Maupin

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Armistead Maupin's uproarious and moving Tales of the City novels—the first three of which are collected in this omnibus volume—have earned a unique niche in American literature and are considered indelible documents of cultural change from the seventies through the first two decades of the new millennium.

“These novels are as difficult to put down as a dish of pistachios. The reader starts playing the old childhood game of 'Just one more chapter and I'll turn out the lights,' only to look up and discover it's after midnight.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

Originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City (1978), More Tales of the City (1980), and Further Tales of the City (1982) afforded a mainstream audience of millions its first exposure to straight and gay characters experiencing on equal terms the follies of urban life.

Among the cast of this groundbreaking saga are the lovelorn residents of 28 Barbary Lane: the bewildered but aspiring Mary Ann Singleton, the libidinous Brian Hawkins; Mona Ramsey, still in a sixties trance, Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, forever in bright-eyed pursuit of Mr. Right; and their marijuana-growing landlady, the indefatigable Mrs. Madrigal.

Hurdling barriers both social and sexual, Maupin leads them through heartbreak and triumph, through nail-biting terrors and gleeful coincidences. The result is a glittering and addictive comedy of manners that continues to beguile new generations of readers.

Tales of the City: A Novel

Armistead Maupin

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The first novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga, soon to return to television as a Netflix original series once again starring Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis.

For almost four decades Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City has blazed its own trail through popular culture—from a groundbreaking newspaper serial to a classic novel, to a television event that entranced millions around the world. The first of nine novels about the denizens of the mythic apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane, Tales is both a sparkling comedy of manners and an indelible portrait of an era that changed forever the way we live.

Goodbye Barbary Lane: "Tales of the City" Books 7-9 (Tales of the City Omnibus)

Armistead Maupin

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By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City novels—the final three of which are collected in this third omnibus volume—stand as an incomparable blend of great storytelling and incisive social commentary on American culture from the seventies through the first two decades of the new millennium.

“These final days of his San Francisco friends and lovers, gay and straight, are seriously moving…. Maupin deftly illustrates how far America and the pioneering Anna have come, and nearly forty years into the series, his writing remains wildly addictive but is deeper and richer.”—People

The last three novels of Armistead Maupin’s bestselling, critically-acclaimed Tales of the City are now available for the first time as an omnibus edition. The epic series, published between 1978 and 2014, spans the decade before the AIDS crisis through the era of marriage equality following an unforgettable set of characters, whose diverse sexual identities helped set the social stage for the ongoing sexual revolution.

Goodbye Barbary Lane—comprised of Michael Tolliver Lives (2007), Mary Ann in Autumn (2010), and The Days of Anna Madrigal (2014)—brings closure to the lives and legacies of the characters through which generations have found connection to America’s larger cultural struggles over the past four decades.

Joining two companion omnibus volumes, 28 Barbary Lane and Back to Barbary Lane, Goodbye Barbary Lane presents all of “Mr. Maupin’s adeptness at fluid dialogue, his flair for shaping characters who thread the needle between pop archetypes and singular human beings, and his great gift for intricate if occasionally preposterous plotting”(New York Times).

Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of the City Novel

Armistead Maupin

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The eighth novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga, soon to return to television as a Netflix original series once again starring Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis.

Following the success of his New York Times bestseller Michael Tolliver Lives, Armistead Maupin’s Mary Ann in Autumn is a touching portrait of friendship, family, and fresh starts, as the City by the Bay welcomes back Mary Ann Singleton, the beloved Tales of the City heroine who started it all. A new chapter begins in the lives of both Mary Ann and Michael “Mouse” Tolliver when she returns to San Francisco to rejoin her oldest friend after years in New York City… the reunion that fans of Maupin’s beloved Tales of the City series have been awaiting for years.

The Days of Anna Madrigal: A Novel (Tales of the City)

Armistead Maupin

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The ninth novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga, soon to return to television as a Netflix original series once again starring Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis.

The Days of Anna Madrigal, the suspenseful, comic, and touching novel, follows one of modern literature’s most unforgettable and enduring characters—Anna Madrigal, the legendary transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane—as she embarks on a road trip that will take her deep into her past.

Now ninety-two, and committed to the notion of “leaving like a lady,” Mrs. Madrigal has seemingly found peace with her “logical family” in San Francisco: her devoted young caretaker Jake Greenleaf; her former tenant Brian Hawkins and his daughter Shawna; and Michael Tolliver and Mary Ann Singleton, who have known and loved Anna for nearly four decades.

Some members of Anna’s family are bound for the otherworldly landscape of Burning Man, the art community in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert where 60,000 revelers gather to construct a city designed to last only one week. Anna herself has another destination in mind: a lonely stretch of road outside of Winnemucca where the 16-year-old boy she once was ran away from the whorehouse he called home. With Brian and his beat-up RV, she journeys into the dusty troubled heart of her Depression childhood to unearth a lifetime of secrets and dreams and attend to unfinished business she has long avoided.

The Night Listener: A Novel

Armistead Maupin

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"I'm a fabulist by trade," warns Gabriel Noone, a late-night radio storyteller, as he begins to untangle the skeins of his tumultuous life: his crumbling ten-year love affair, his disaffection from his Southern father, his longtime weakness for ignoring reality. Gabriel's most sympathetic listener is Pete Lomax, a thirteen-year-old fan in Wisconsin whose own horrific past has left him wise and generous beyond his years. But when this virtual father-son relationship is rocked by doubt, a desperate search for the truth ensues. Welcome to the complex, vertiginous world of The Night Listener....

Back to Barbary Lane: "Tales of the City" Books 4-6 (Tales of the City Omnibus)

Armistead Maupin

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By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City novels—the fourth, fifth and sixth of which are collected in this second omnibus volume—stand as an incomparable blend of great storytelling and incisive social commentary on American culture from the seventies through the first two decades of the new millennium.

“Tearing through [the tales] one after the other, as I did, allows instant gratification; it also lets you appreciate how masterfully they're constructed. No matter what Maupin writes next, he can look back on the rare achievement of having built a little world and made it run.”—Walter Kendrick, Village Voice Literary Supplement

Armistead Maupin's uproarious and moving Tales of the City novels have earned a unique niche in American literature and are considered indelible documents of cultural change from the seventies through the first two decades of the new millennium.  The nine classic comedies, some of which originally appeared as serials in San Francisco newspapers, have won Maupin critical acclaim around the world and enthralled legions of devoted fans.

Back to Barbary Lane comprises the second omnibus of the series—Babycakes (1984), Significant Others (1987), and Sure of You (1989)—continuing the saga of the tenants, past and present, of Mrs. Madrigal's beloved apartment house on Russian Hill. While the first trilogy celebrated the carefree excesses of the seventies, this volume tracks its hapless, all-too-human cast across the eighties—a decade troubled by plague, deceit, and overweening ambition.

Like its companion volumes, 28 Barbary Lane and Goodbye, Barbary Lane, Back to Barbary Lane is distinguished by what The Guardian of London has called "some of the sharpest and most speakable dialogue you are ever likely to read."

 

More Tales of the City

Armistead Maupin

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The second novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga, soon to return to television as a Netflix original series once again starring Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis.

The tenants of 28 Barbary Lane have fled their cozy nest for adventures far afield. Mary Ann Singleton finds love at sea with a forgetful stranger, Mona Ramsey discovers her doppelgänger in a desert whorehouse, and Michael Tolliver bumps into his favorite gynecologist in a Mexican bar. Meanwhile, their venerable landlady takes the biggest journey of all—without ever leaving home.

Michael Tolliver Lives

Armistead Maupin

Best price for this book: $ 6.82

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The seventh novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga, soon to return to television as a Netflix original series once again starring Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis.

Nearly two decades after ending his groundbreaking Tales of the City saga of San Francisco life, Armistead Maupin revisits his all-too-human hero Michael Tolliver—the fifty-five-year-old sweet-spirited gardener and survivor of the plague that took so many of his friends and lovers—for a single day at once mundane and extraordinary... and filled with the everyday miracles of living.