Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Maupin denies that this is a seventh volume of his beloved Tales of the City, but happily that's exactly what it is, with style and invention galore. When we left the residents of 28 Barbary Lane, it was 1989, and Michael 'Mouse' Tolliver was coping with the supposed death sentence of HIV. Now, improved drug cocktails have given him a new life, while regular shots of testosterone and doses of Viagra allow him a rich and inventive sex life with a new boyfriend, Ben, 'twenty-one years younger than I am an entire adult younger, if you must insist on looking at it that way.' Number 28 Barbary Lane itself is no more, but its former tenants are doing well, for the most part, in diaspora. Michael's best friend, ladies' man Brian Hawkins, is back, and unprepared for his grown daughter, Shawna, a pansexual it-girl journalist la Michelle Tea, to leave for a New York career. Mrs. Madrigal, the transsexual landlady, is still radiant and mysterious at age 85. Maupin introduces a dazzling variety of real-life reference points, but the story belongs to Mouse, whose chartings of the transgressive, multigendered sex trends of San Francisco are every bit as lovable as Mouse's original wet jockey shorts contest in the very first Tales, back in 1978. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[C]harming, heartwarming....This is a kind of wrapping-up novel, but also a giving-thanks one....Sweet without being sappy." Booklist (Starred Review)
"An affirmation of growing older and wiser that gives hope to those trying to appreciate what they have while staying true to themselves, this novel is a graceful coda to the series. Recommended." Library Journal
"[G]reat fun to read. Maupin is a master at sustained and sustaining comic turns." New York Times
"Maupin's writing style is both breezy and humorous, which makes the sadder moments all the more poignant." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"[W]itty and tragic....The past may be a foreign country, but this literary day trip reminds us of why we love to travel." Rocky Mountain News
"Rueful but never regretful, warmhearted and witty: a treat for Maupin's many fans." Kirkus Reviews
Michael Tolliver, the sweet-spirited Southerner in Maupin's classic Tales of the City series, is arguably one of the most widely loved characters in contemporary fiction. Now, almost 20 years after ending his groundbreaking saga of San Francisco life, Maupin revisits his all-too-human hero.
About the Author
Armistead Maupin is the author of the bestselling Tales of the City series, of which Mary Ann in Autumnis the eighth book and which includes Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, and Michael Tolliver Lives. Three television miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three Tales novels. Maupin is also the author of Maybe the Moonand The Night Listener, the latter of which became a feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette. A stage musical version of Tales of the Citywill have its world premiere at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater in May 2011. Maupin lives in San Francisco with his husb undergraduate thesis. He lives in New York City.