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.
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).
"An old fashioned pleasure... there's been nothing like it since the heyday of the serial novel 100 years ago... 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 By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City series stands as an incomparable blend of great storytelling and incisive social commentary. These six 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 trilogy of the series--Babycakes (1984), Significant Others (1987), and Sure of You (1989) -- concluding 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-to-human cast across a decade troubled by plague, deceit and overweening ambition. Like its companion volume, 28 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." It promises hours of literate entertainment for readers old and new. With a foreword by the author.
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.
Tranquillity reigns in the ancient redwood forest until a women-only music festival sets up camp downriver from an all-male retreat for the ruling class. Among those entangled in the ensuing mayhem are a lovesick nurseryman, a panic-stricken philanderer, and the world’s most beautiful fat woman. Significant Others is Armistead Maupin’s cunningly observed meditation on marriage, friendship, and sexual nostalgia.
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."
The Days of Anna Madrigal, the suspenseful, comic, and touching ninth novel in Armistead Maupin’s bestselling “Tales of the City” series, 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.
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick 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.
“An enormously talented writer. . . . By writing about what’s seemingly different, Armistead Maupin always manages to capture what’s so hilariously, painfully true for all of us.” —Amy Tan, author of The Bonesetter’s Daughter “Maupin writes with warmth, acuity and tremendous wit. . . . Read him.” —Publishers Weekly 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.
Cementville has a breathtaking set up: 1969. A small Kentucky town, known only for its excellent bourbon and passable cement, direct from the factory that gives the town its name. The favored local sons of Cementville’s most prominent families all joined the National Guard hoping to avoid the draft and the killing fields of Vietnam. They were sent to combat anyway, and seven boys were killed in a single, horrific ambush. The novel opens as the coffins are making their way home, along with one remaining survivor, the now-maimed town quarterback recently rescued from a Vietnamese prison camp. Yet the return of the bodies sets off something inside of the town itself —a sense of violence, a political reality, a gnawing unease with the future — and soon, new bodies start turning up around town, pushing the families of Cementville into further alienation and grief. Presented as the Our Town of its time, we’ll meet Maureen, the young sister of a recently returned solider who attempts to document the strange changes going on in her town; Harlan O’Brien, a war hero just rescued from three years in a POW camp whose PTSD starts bending his mind in terrifying ways; Evelyn Slidell, the wealthy icon and oldest woman in town, a descendent of the its founders and no stranger to what grief does to a family; Giang Smith, the ‘war bride’ who flees the violence of Vietnam with her new American husband only to encounter echoes of it in her new home; and the notorious Ferguson clan, led by the violent Levon and his draft-dodging younger brother Byard, who carry a secret that could further tear the town apart. With the Civil Rights Act only a few years old, a restless citizenry divided over the war, and the Women’s Movement sending tremors through established assumptions about family life, Cementville provides a microcosm of a society shedding the old order and learning how to live with grief — a situation with resonant echoes concerning war and community still being confronted today.
"An extended love letter to a magical San Francisco." --New York Times Book Review When an ordinary househusband and his ambitious wife decide to start a family, they discover there's more to making a baby then meets the eye. Help arrives in the form of a grieving gay neighbor, a visiting monarch, and the dashing young lieutenant who defects from her yacht. Bittersweet and profoundly affecting, Babycakes was the first work of fiction to acknowledge the arrival of AIDS. "Armistead is a true original. His tales are bang up-to-date. They will surprise and maybe even shock you, but, I promise, they will make you laugh." --Ian McKellen "Maupin has a genius for observation. His characters have the timing of vaudeville comics, flawed by human frailty and fueled by blind hop." --Denver Post "Armistead Maupin's San Francisco saga careens beautifully on." -- New York Times Book Review
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.
Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail? At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point: As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects. As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list. When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.
In the spirit of A Short History of Nearly Everything comes Periodic Tales. Award-winning science writer Hugh Andersey-Williams offers readers a captivating look at the elements—and the amazing, little-known stories behind their discoveries. Periodic Tales is an energetic and wide-ranging book of innovations and innovators, of superstition and science and the myriad ways the chemical elements are woven into our culture, history, and language. It will delight readers of Genome, Einstein’s Dreams, Longitude, and The Age of Wonder.
"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.