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It's been almost 40 years since the publication of the first Tales of the City novel, Armistead Maupin's innovatively topical and infectious creation, first serialized in a Marin County paper, and then the San Francisco Chronicle. Maupin (and yes, Armistead Maupin is not a pen name) covers his early years in North Carolina as a young Republican trying to please his unreconstructed father--segregationist and toxic homophobe Senator Jesse Helms was even a family friend. College, Naval officer school and Vietnam, beat reporting and feature writing, and the journey from 26 year old closeted virgin to activist member of the gay community in San Francisco, all follow. There are memorable stories with famous friends like Rock Hudson, Ian McKellen, Harvey Milk, and Christopher Isherwood. There are sad vignettes with a biological family that won't accept Armistead's homosexuality. And we meet the close friends (the "logical family") who will in some cases fall victim to HIV/AIDS. An expert at holding an audience, Maupin's relatively short memoir makes you want to hear more.— From Carla's Picks
“Armistead Maupin's new memoir, Logical Family, tells the story of his life with the same humor and grace that have made his Tales of the City series so beloved. Fans will delight in reading about the inspirations for Barbary Lane and its inhabitants, but readers who are brand new to Maupin will also fall in love. His story is that of a young boy growing up in the old South, in the Navy, in Vietnam, and in the closet - at least until he found his home in 1970s San Francisco. Even if he weren't already an LGBT icon and literary hero, this memoir would be one to champion.”
— Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC
"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.
Armistead Maupin is the author of the nine-volume Tales of the City series, which includes Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, Michael Tolliver Lives, Mary Ann in Autumn, and now The Days of Anna Madrigal. Maupin's other novels include Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener. Maupin was the 2012 recipient of the Lambda Literary Foundation's Pioneer Award. He lives in San Francisco with his husband, the photographer Christopher Turner.