Tag Archive > Armistead Maupin

Mary Ann in Autumn

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Mary Ann in Autumn, Armistead Maupin, book reviewWhen Mary Ann Singleton, a quiet mousy secretary from Cleveland Ohio, turned up in San Francisco back in 1976 in Armistead Maupin’s ‘Tales of the City’, she became a virtual ‘friend’ to readers all over the world. Mary Ann was the ultra-straight sensible outsider observing the wild, crazy, exotic (and erotic) behaviour of those around her. Not since Dorothy observed to Toto the dog in ‘The Wizard of Oz that ‘We’re a long way from Kansas’ was someone such a fish out of water. Mary Ann loved the ‘city’, called her mother and told her she wasn’t coming home. Over the course of six books Mary Ann and her fellow housemates and landlady at the house on Barbary Lane became a part of the lives of the readers of Maupin’s wonderful books. Then at the end of the series, Maupin sent Mary Ann away into exile, off to New York to become a TV presenter and to subsequently marry a dull but wealthy company Chief Executive.


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Michael Tolliver Lives

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Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin, book reviewBack in the late 80s I got hooked on Armistead Maupin’s series ‘Tales of the City’ which followed the lives and loves of a group of friends and neighbours living in San Francisco. I was perhaps a little late to catch the craze since the first six volumes had been completed before I had even picked up the first. Published between 1978 and 1989 they were almost Dickensian in style with their short snappy chapters and serialised format, bouncing between a cast of very different characters and responding quickly to the zeitgeist. The series straddled an era when ‘The City’ was at the heart of a rapidly growing and deeply frightening series of events; the first occurrences and rapid spread of AIDS and HIV infection in San Francisco’s gay community.


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