Maupin is married to Christopher Turner, a website producer and photographer whom he saw on a dating website. He then "chased him down Castro Street, saying, 'Didn’t I see you on hotoldermale.com?'" Maupin and Turner were married in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on February 18, 2007, though Maupin says that they had called each other "husband" for two years prior.
Maupin was born to a conservative Christian family in Washington, D.C.. Soon afterwards, his family moved to North Carolina, where he was raised. He says he has had storytelling instincts since he was eight years old. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he became involved in journalism through writing for The Daily Tar Heel. After earning his undergraduate degree, Maupin enrolled in law school, but later resigned from it.
Maupin worked at WRAL-TV (Channel 5) in Raleigh, a station then managed by future U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, who also delivered the station's well-known editorial segments throughout his management of the station in the 1960s. Helms nominated Maupin for a patriotic award, which he won. Maupin says he was a typical conservative and even a segregationist at this time and admired Helms, a family friend, as a "hero figure." He later changed his opinions dramatically — "I've changed and he hasn't" — and condemned Helms at a gay pride parade on the steps of the North Carolina State Capitol. Maupin is a veteran of the United States Navy; he served several tours of duty including one in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Armistead Maupin is an American writer, best known for his Tales of the City series of novels, set in San Francisco. He is married to Christopher Turner, a website producer and photographer whom he saw on a dating website. He then "chased him down Castro Street, saying, 'Didn't I see you on Daddyhunt.com?’" Maupin and Turner were married in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on February 18, 2007, though Maupin says that they had called each other "husband" for two years prior.
Armistead Maupin, Terry Anderson,Toni Collette, and Patrick Stettner - 2006 Sundance Film Festival - "Night Listener" Portraits
Armistead Maupin's former partner of 12 years, Terry Anderson, was once a gay rights activist, and co-authored the screenplay for The Night Listener. Maupin lived with Anderson in San Francisco and New Zealand. Ian McKellen is a friend and Christopher Isherwood was a mentor. When he was about 30, he began what would become the Tales of the City series as a serial in a Marin County-based newspaper, the Pacific Sun, moving to the San Francisco Chronicle after the Sun's San Francisco edition folded
Maupin's work on a Charleston newspaper was followed with an offer of a position at the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. He says he had known he was gay since childhood, but didn't have sex until he was 26 and only decided to come out in 1974 when he was about 30. The same year, he began what would become the Tales of the City series as a serial in a Marin County-based newspaper, the Pacific Sun, moving to the San Francisco Chronicle after the Sun's San Francisco edition folded.
Tales of the City is a series of novels, the first portions of which were published initially as a newspaper serial starting on August 8, 1974, in a Marin County newspaper, The Pacific Sun, picked up in 1976 by the San Francisco Chronicle, and later reworked into the series of books published by HarperCollins (then Harper and Row). The first of Maupin's novels, entitled Tales of the City, was published in 1978. Five more followed in the 1980s, ending with the last book, Sure of You, in 1989. A seventh novel published in 2007, Michael Tolliver Lives, continues the story of some of the characters. It was followed by an eighth volume, Mary Ann in Autumn, published in 2010. In Babycakes, published in 1983, Maupin was one of the first writers to address the subject of AIDS. Of the autobiographical nature of the characters, he says "I’ve always been all of the characters in one way or another."
The Tales of the City books have been translated into ten languages and there are more than six million copies in print.
Prior to the 2007 release of Michael Tolliver Lives, Maupin had been quoted on his website as saying that another Tales of the City novel was unlikely. Although Maupin originally stated that this novel was "NOT a sequel to Tales [of the City] and it's certainly not Book 7 in the series," he later conceded that "I’ve stopped denying that this is book seven in Tales of the City, as it clearly is ... I suppose I didn’t want people to be thrown by the change in the format, as this is a first person novel unlike the third person format of the Tales of the City books and it’s about one character who interrelates with other characters. Having said that, it is still very much a continuation of the saga and I think I realised it was very much time for me to come back to this territory."
The novel is written from the first-person perspective of Tales character Michael 'Mouse' Tolliver, now in his fifties and living as an HIV-positive man. It also features appearances by familiar Tales characters, such as Anna Madrigal. Maupin said: "I was interested in pursuing the life of an aging gay man, and Michael was the perfect vehicle ... However, as soon as I started writing, I found that, one by one, all the other characters stepped forward and asked to be present. It felt natural, so I went with it." He calls it "a smaller, more personal novel than I've written in the past." The book was released on June 12, 2007, declared 'Michael Tolliver Day' by the mayor of San Francisco.
His next project is another Tales volume: "Whatever I have to offer seems to come through those characters ... And I see no reason to abandon them."
Mary Ann in Autumn was published November 12, 2010 by Harper/HarperCollins, continuing the series. It was reviewed by Joseph Salvatore in the New York Times Sunday Book Reviews on November 14.
In December 2011 Maupin confirmed that he was working on a further Tales of the City novel, The Days of Anna Madrigal.
Maupin's former partner of 12 years, Terry Anderson, was once a gay rights activist (Maupin himself has done much of that sort of work), and co-authored the screenplay for The Night Listener. He lived with Anderson in San Francisco and New Zealand. Ian McKellen is a friend and Christopher Isherwood was a mentor, friend, and influence as a writer.
The characters of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of The City" are utterly beautiful in their flawed state of discovery and evolving. They start with Mary Ann Singleton, who, while on vacation in San Francisco, just stays. Here again, I loved the writer's style and the way he brought the characters to life. I read them from start to finish in about a month and I cried like a baby when I read the very last one. --Johnny Miles
Maybe the Moon by Armistead Maupin is a great story about a dwarf actress whose claim to fame was starring in an ET-like movie. I’ve always loved stories/books/movies about those who (like myself!) came to Hollywood to make it in some way. Most of us, of course, don’t make it or have many strange twists and turns on that journey, and this is such a story. The heroine, Cady, is a take-no-prisoners little person who somewhere in the book refers to herself as a “fat baby with tits and pubic hair.” It’s hard not to love a character like that. I found this a somewhat more serious and touching novel than the “Tales of the City” series, just a beautiful piece of work. --Jim Arnold
Back in the late 1970s a friend gave me a copy of Armistead Maupin’s novel “Tales of the City”, which set me onto a course of coming out as a gay man and writing about gay lives. As I made my way through other gay books by other gay writers, I also made my way through Maupin’s thrilling six-volume odyssey of his family of queer characters at 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco. These books were lent to friends and passed along to other friends, who lent them to other friends. There were phone calls and discussions at bars and dinner parties on which book we liked best and what character was our favorite. The series ended in 1989, with Michael “Mouse” Tolliver HIV-positive, and in 1989 many of us believed that this was not a good sign; within the eleven-year publishing period of “Tales of the City” and its sequels, life in the gay community had significantly changed because of the impact of AIDS. “Michael Tolliver Lives”, published in 2007, reunites us with Michael almost two decades later, now approaching 55, buoyed by a drug cocktail and “glad to belong to this sweet confederacy of survivors.” This book made me burst into tears of joy — a rare feat. Written in the first person — from Michael’s point of view — “Michael Tolliver Lives” at times feels more like a memoir than a novel to me, perhaps because I harbor the belief that Mouse is an old friend I haven’t heard from in a while (and delighted to find is still around). I could not put this book down, tugged by the glow and melodrama of memories — both Maupin’s and my own. --Jameson Currier
Reading the Tales of the City series when I was a teenager made me want to be a writer. I felt such loss when I finished a book, because the characters had become part of me. I internalized Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, to the point that I still sometimes talk like him. I felt Mary Ann Singleton´s angst when she felt like she couldn´t connect to others upon moving to San Francisco, and I sobbed when characters starting dying of AIDS. To this day, it is my greatest dream to create a world as richly textured and believable as the one Maupin created at 28 Barbary Lane. --Bill Konigsberg
The Tales of the City books, like The Front Runner, were eye-openers and touchstones for me as a young gay man coming to grips with his own identity. Reading this last entry in the series, Michael Tolliver Lives, really resonated with me and touched me, since I am not far behind Michael himself and have experienced many, if not most, of his same joys and sorrows. --Rick R. Reed
What I wouldn’t give to live at 28 Barbary Lane – which is actually saying a lot, considering I hated the fashion of the seventies. I mean really…could they have discovered a more revolting color palette to choose from? I don’t think so! But I’d suffer it all over again to live upstairs with Michael, Mary Ann, & Mona at Mrs. Madrigal’s. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin was the first book I ever read where I was able to see myself, unapologetically staring back at me from the page. The ever-hopeless romantic, trying on new men – praying one of them would fit – never giving up, no matter how many times I wound up heartbroken and alone. While I haven’t tried on quite as many guys as Mouse did, I still to this day can’t seem to drive that wishful-thinking-someday-my-prince-will-c
ome-mentality out of my own ditzy head. I keep trying, but no matter how much sarcasm I put on, it doesn’t seem to help. Go figure? Tales is fun, light, at times wickedly funny, and helped me justify a tiny little piece of my own identity as a gay man by showing me I wasn’t so alone after all. --Ethan Day
I was completely captivated by Maupin’s Tales of the City — a series of books revolving around the inhabitants of an apartment building in San Francisco run by an eccentric landlady, Anna Madrigal, who regards her tenants as her adopted children. Every character, Michael (Mouse) Tolliver, Mary Ann Singleton, Anna’s daughter Mona etc., come to vivid and endearing life within the pages. The series was addictive and hard to give up, and was the inspiration behind my own foray into this crazy world of writing. Many years later Maupin wrote Michael Tolliver Lives when an aging Michael, loving and living with a younger man, finds his past catching up with him as he is forced to face the complexities of his family’s, and long-lost friends’, issues. --J.P. Bowie
There is no denying that Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin is a gay classic, and it works so well because it shows gay people interacting with the straight community rather than being apart from it. The whacky residents of Barbary Lane can be followed through seven books, although you should be warned that as the books move into the eighties they become a bit more sombre when the impact of AIDS is first known. --Sean Kennedy
Does every gay man start their gay reading with TALES OF THE CITY by Armistead Maupin? Possibly the answer is yes, and I think that’s a wonderful thing. It’s funny but real, risky but ultimately safe (like a mother’s approving hug), and it captures a moment in time that is the foundation of contemporary gay society. For any gay man who realizes and respects how significant the 70s were for gay life, owning this book is just as important as owning CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC by the Village People or cherishing those Tom of Finland drawings. --Geoffrey Knight
Armistead Maupin, 1989, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1081975)
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
Armistead Maupin by Patrick Gale
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Absolute Press; Revised edition (January 2000)
Amazon: Armistead Maupin
Armistead Maupin is one of Britain''s leading writers of gay fiction. This biography reveals the journey that took Maupin from a middle class upbringing in North Carolina, to serve in the US Marines Vietnam to the writer of a series of novels.'
Tales of the City: A Novel by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (May 29, 2007)
Amazon: Tales of the City: A Novel
For more than three 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 six 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.
Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (May 20, 2008)
Amazon: Michael Tolliver Lives
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.
More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
More LGBT Couples at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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