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Armistead Maupin -- Author of Tales of the City

Updated on October 13, 2014

Armistead Maupin, Talented Author

Armistead Maupin is one of the most talented writers I've ever read.* He wrote the serial "Tales of the City" and two novels, Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener.

Maupin's storytelling style makes you feel like you're part of the story. His character development and rich details make reading his books addictive and a pleasure. You just want to keep reading.

Tales of the City was made into a miniseries, and The Night Listener was made into a movie. They are both great escapes, just like his books.

Photo Credit: Armistead Maupin photo by Alan Light

*And I've read a lot. To see what I've been reading, head over to my blog, A Good Book Is Awaiting.

Armistead Maupin Biography

His life so far

In 1944, Armistead Maupin was born in Washington D.C., but his family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina where he was raised. He graduated from the University of North Carolina then served in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed in the Mediterranean and in Vietnam.

Maupin began his writing career at a Charleston, South Carolina newspaper. In 1971 he was transferred to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press. His popular newspaper serial Tales of the City was first published in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1976. He went on to write eight novels in the Tales of the City series.

Maupin is also the author of two other novels, Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener. Tales of the City was made into three miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney. A feature film was made of The Night Listener starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette.

Maupin lives in San Francisco with his husband, Christopher Turner.

Source: Armistead Maupin Web Site

Armistead Maupin Quote

"Like I've always said, love wouldn't be blind

if the braille weren't so damned much fun."

~Armistead Maupin

Tales of the City

A Serial Drama First Published in the Pacific Sun, Then San Francisco Chronicle

Armistead Maupin began writing the serial "Tales of the City" for the newspaper the Pacific Sun in Marin County, California in 1974. He wrote the story in installments that were published daily. When the newspaper folded, the San Francisco Chronicle took over publishing the popular serial in 1976.

The story was published as novels starting in 1978. The following books round out the Tales of the City story:

Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.)

More Tales of the City

Further Tales of the City


Significant Others

Sure of Your

Michael Tolliver Lives

Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of the City Novel (P.S.)

The story begins with a naive young woman, Mary Ann, from the Midwest who visits San Francisco but decides to stay instead of returning home. She rents a charming apartment at 28 Barbary Lane. The owner and all of the residents make for some fun tales of the city. And I'll never think of Winnemucca, Nevada the same way again.

The Tales of the City Books - Wonderful Series

On Memoir Vs. Fiction

"I have always distrusted memoir.

I tend to write my memoirs through my fiction.

It's easier to get to the truth by not claiming

that you are speaking it. Some things can be

said in fiction that can never be said in memoir."

~Armistead Maupin

The Night Listener

Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener

Novels by Armistead Maupin

I haven't read Armistead Maupin's novel Maybe the Moon, but I have read The Night Listener several times. The Night LIstener was made into a movie starring Robin William and Toni Collette. It is one of the best books I've read.

All of Maupin's books are largely autobiographical and since he is gay, there are always gay characters in his stories. His frame of reference serves him well.

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Please let me know you dropped by.

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing that, Mark. When you're ready, you rlealy ought to take a look at the three Tales miniseries -- they rlealy are quite lovely. I would just add the small correction that only the first was done by PBS, which promptly turned gutless. It wasn't till Showtime was able to reassemble the package that More Tales and Further Tales were made.I think of the 28 Barbary Lane gang as my "logical family," as Mrs. Madrigal puts it -- more real to me over this 30-year span than just about any of my real relations.Thanks for commenting --Ken

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I missed the Tales when they were first being psilbuhed and only found them when they were in their two, big, multi-novel volumes, the ones you mentioned. I read these in 1995, just as I was coming out, late, after a hideous divorce from a big corporate CEO, at the age of 35. I can honestly say they were a central part of my coming out--but a sad part. It was like walking into a room AFTER a party, left with only the haunting sense of all I'd missed. I've never seen the PBS movies--because I can't. Those books are burned in my mind. I know what the characters look like, live like. I don't want to get a visual from the movies in my head. I want my own visuals. They were part of my late-phase growing up, learning to live in what Henry James calls the "mild, firm sadness."

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great job! Great author and an even greater book.

    • Inkhand profile image


      6 years ago

      Armistead Maupin sounds like an interesting author, after reading this lens I think I might get a copy of his work and read it.

    • GoldenTvMemorie1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I fell in love with San Francisco because of Armistead Maupin and travelled there in 1993. It lived up to my expectations. I met Armistead in London several years ago when he was on a book tour with 'Maybe The Moon' - lovely guy. They say don't meet your heroes, but this was one I'm glad I did. Thanks for the lens.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      6 years ago

      San Francisco is my favorite city. I must read this guy. You've steered me to some good books before, so I trust these are good too. Thanks, Peggy.

    • traveller27 profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting and great presentation.


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