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.
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.
The second novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga.
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.
The third novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga.
The calamity-prone residents of 28 Barbary Lane are at it again in this deliciously dark novel of romance and betrayal. While Anna Madrigal imprisons an anchorwoman in her basement, Michael Tolliver looks for love at the National Gay Rodeo, DeDe Halcyon Day and Mary Ann Singleton track a charismatic psychopath across Alaska, and society columnist Prue Giroux loses her heart to a derelict living in a San Francisco park.
The ninth novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga.
The Days of Anna Madrigal, the suspenseful, comic, and touching novel, 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.
The fourth novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga.
When an ordinary househusband and his ambitious wife decide to start a family, they discover there’s more to making a baby than 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 piece of fiction to acknowledge the arrival of AIDS.
“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.
“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."
“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).
The seventh novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga.
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.