Michael Tolliver, the sweet-spirited Southerner in Armistead 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, letting the 55-year-old gardener tell his story in his own voice.
"I SO wanted to love this."
A contest of wills with a deranged cleaning lady. The execution of a rodent carried out with military precision and utter horror. Telemarketing revenge. A different kind of "roof work". Dating an undertaker who drives a mini-van. This is the fabric of Augusten Burroughs's life: a collection of true stories that are universal in their appeal yet unabashedly intimate, stories that shine a flashlight into both dark and hilarious places.
"His best yet!"
Tender Branson, the last surviving member of the so-called Creedish Death Cult, is dictating his life story into the flight recorder of Flight 2039, cruising on autopilot at 39,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. He is all alone in the airplane, which will crash shortly into the vast Australian outback. But before it does, he will unfold the tale of his journey from an obedient Creedish child and humble domestic servant to an ultra-buffed, steroid-and-collagen-packed media messiah.
For young single women, every night is Ladies' Night. For Brett Paesel and her friends, Friday happy hour is all they get, if they can wrangle the babysitting. Like most mommies, they support each other through pregnancies, sleep deprivation, and the need to talk about it all. Instead of meeting at the playground, they convene at the local watering hole while sipping Black and Tans and flirting with the cute bartender.
In "Jodi K", by Jill Soloway, the award-winning writer/producer of Six Feet Under, a suburban teenager is a skeptical part of every high school make-out scene, but her heart is fixed on the middle-aged man next door.
"3 VERY different stories"
Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of being Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain.
"NOT what I was expecting"
From Stuart Smalley come calming visualizations that will take you to a safe and healing place...except for a few wrong turns along the way. Al Franken brought Stuart Smalley to prominence on Saturday Night Live, and although Stuart's not perfect (and that's okay), he offers a healing journey through the Dysfunctional Forest and other guided visualizations.
"Whoops -- I am misleading you"
Upon the release of his first published work, Howl and Other Poems, in 1956, Allen Ginsberg became the unlikely force of a movement that would change a generation. Literature, art, sex, love, family, politics; nothing would ever be the same. The Beat Generation was born through Ginsberg and his friends.
An amoral young tramp. A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband. A problem that has only one, grisly solution; a solution that only creates other problems that no one can ever solve.
"Cain always good"
The Edge of the Bed: Cyborgasm 2 is a collection of erotic stories so real, you can practically feel it. Contributors include sexperts Susie Bright and Carol Queen!
"Better on CD"
Just close your eyes and listen...Cyborgasm is a collection of erotic fantasies recorded using technology developed for Virtual Reality applications. From sweet nothing whispers to no-holds-barred lust, Cyborgasm sounds so real you can feel it.
"Aural pleasure only"
John Updike's 21st novel, a bildungsroman, follows its hero, Owen Mackenzie, from his birth in the semi-rural Pennsylvania town of Willow to his retirement in the rather geriatric community of Haskells Crossing, Massachusetts. In between these two settlements comes Middle Falls, Connecticut, where Owen, an early computer programmer, founds with a partner, Ed Mervine, the successful firm of E-O Data, which is housed in an old gun factory on the Chunkaunkabaug River.
"Updike at the height of his powers"
In Reefer Madness, the best-selling author of Fast Food Nation investigates America's black market and its far-reaching influence on our society through three of its mainstays - pot, porn, and illegal immigrants.
"Great Investigative Journalism"
Susie Bright, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright, wants to read you some of her favorite dirty stories. In this collection of eight stories, you'll hear reminiscences of sex past from Tsuarah Litsky, in transit encounters from Nell Carberry, an updated Beauty and the Beast tale from Claire Tristram, as well as stories from Jess Wells, Alma Marceau, and Ernie Conrick. Almost all of these stories originally appeared in the annual Best American Erotica collection, edited by Susie Bright.
"Sensuality - the advanced course"
This week in Studio 360 - adventures with robots. Kurt Andersen and scientist Rodney Brooks look at how metal men are jumping from pop culture into real life. Visit thousands of robot toys in a big red barn outside Spokane. Writer Susie Bright surveys female robots on film, from Stepford Wives to the deadly Fembots. And a jazz pioneer gives over some control to his virtual Frankenstein.
This week on Studio 360, Kurt Andersen and the playwright Paula Vogel talk about how artists have portrayed the lives of "fallen women," and why audiences are so fascinated by them. We'll hear from the filmmaker of Born into Brothels, a documentary about children in Calcutta's red light district who learn to photograph their lives. And we'll trace the origins of the iconic courtesan in Verdi's opera, La Traviata.
Monogamy is Bad for the SoulJack Klaff, a writer, director, and actor; Rod Little, a journalist for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and The Spectator; and Dr. Anthony Grayling of the University of London spoke for the motion.
"Hadn't put much thought into the topic"