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Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A 2014 World Book Night selection.

When this and its sequels first came out in the early 80s it predated HIV and AIDS and reading this now I think one must remember that. They are set in an imaginary world which centres round the inhabitants of 28 Barbary Lane. With the feel of a serial novel we follow many characters in short, easy sections through their young city lives in San Francisco. It made a wonderful TV series in the 90s but the seven books give you so much more. I love them.

August 2011 Guest Editor Deborah Lawrenson on Armistead Maupin...

Armistead Maupin. I just adore the Tales of the City series with its great, exuberant cast of lovable characters. Maupin writes pin-sharp prose that can capture an ambiance or a foible in a finely-tuned phrase. The fog rolling in across the San Francisco Bay presses itself against a window “like a fat lady in ermine”.

A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher...

‘I feel jealous of anyone discovering this series for the first time, they have so much fun ahead of them. This is the first volume and introduces us to our hero Michael Tolliver, the naïve but ambitious Mary-Anne Singleton, the eccentric and loveable Mrs Madrigal and the magical, chaotic city of San Francisco in the late seventies. Witty, poignant, moving, life-affirming, a literary soap opera, this book is a total joy to read, you will love these characters and want to keep going back to Maupin’s later books for more instalments. This is book for anyone and everyone, and is totally addictive.' Judith Welsh, Managing Editor at Transworld

If you like Armistead Maupin you might also like to read books by Patrick Gale, Julian Clary and Hanif Kureishi.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

A naïve young secretary forsakes Cleveland for San Francisco, tumbling headlong into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, cut throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests.The saga that ensues is manic, romantic, tawdry, touching, and outrageous – unmistakably the handiwork of Armistead Maupin.

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‘Maupin is a richly gifted comic author’

‘San Francisco is fortunate in having a chronicler as witty and likeable as Armistead Maupin’

About the Author

Armistead Maupin

Armistead Maupin is the author of Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener. The Night Listener became a feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette. Maupin lives in San Francisco with his husband, Christopher Turner.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th September 2000


Armistead Maupin

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Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd


272 pages


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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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