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Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of the City Novel | [Armistead Maupin]

Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of the City Novel

Twenty years have passed since Mary Ann Singleton left her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue her dream of a career in New York. Now a pair of personal calamities has driven her back to the city of her youth and into the arms of her friend, Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, a gardener happily ensconced with his much-younger husband. Mary Ann finds refuge in the couple's backyard cottage, where, at the unnerving age of 57, she licks her wounds and takes stock of her mistakes.
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Publisher's Summary

A hilarious and touching new installment of Armistead Maupin's beloved Tales of the City series.

Twenty years have passed since Mary Ann Singleton left her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue her dream of a television career in New York. Now a pair of personal calamities has driven her back to the city of her youth and into the arms of her oldest friend, Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, a gardener happily ensconced with his much-younger husband.

Mary Ann finds temporary refuge in the couple's backyard cottage, where, at the unnerving age of 57, she licks her wounds and takes stock of her mistakes. Soon, with the help of Facebook and a few old friends, she begins to reengage with life, only to confront fresh terrors when her checkered past comes back to haunt her in a way she could never have imagined.

After the intimate first-person narrative of Maupin's last novel, Michael Tolliver Lives, Mary Ann in Autumn marks the author's return to the multicharacter plotlines and darkly comic themes of his earlier work. Among those caught in Mary Ann's orbit are her estranged daughter, Shawna, a popular sex blogger; Jake Greenleaf, Michael's transgendered gardening assistant; socialite DeDe Halcyon-Wilson; and the indefatigable Anna Madrigal, Mary Ann's former landlady at 28 Barbary Lane.

More than three decades in the making, Armistead Maupin's legendary Tales of the City series rolls into a new age, still sassy, irreverent, and curious, and still exploring the boundaries of the human experience with insight, compassion, and mordant wit.

©2010 Armistead Maupin (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (139 )
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4.3 (87 )
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4.3 (86 )
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  •  
    Kathleen Newburyport, MA, United States 03-12-11
    Kathleen Newburyport, MA, United States 03-12-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Just okay."

    Characters were interesting and written with empathy. I learned a lot about transsexuals. This book was not great, not terrible.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Springfield, MO, United States 01-10-11
    Keith Springfield, MO, United States 01-10-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "He Has Done It Again!"

    This was a great read! Once again, Armistead Maupin has taken us back to the familiar city and characters we have loved for years. Given the way he goes back to previous stories, it was like a love letter to those of us who have read and re-read the previous works in the series. The story, however, does not require one to have read the previous books. Armistead Maupin is one of those rare authors who is capable of reading his own work! Great job all around! I would highly recommend this book to others!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leigh Atlanta, GA, United States 09-21-13
    Leigh Atlanta, GA, United States 09-21-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So good to hear from dear old friends"

    These characters are like dear old friends.. It's always great to hear how they're doing and what they've been up to... Thank you Mr. Maupin for getting us caught up... Always good to hear from my dear, old friends from Barbary Lane...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephane Gelinas Montreal, Qc, Canada 04-16-13
    Stephane Gelinas Montreal, Qc, Canada 04-16-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A great 'Tales of the City' novel!"

    Reconnecting with all the characters from Tales of the City is like comfort food. There all here: Mary Ann, Mouse, Miss Madrigal...the book, like its predecessors, has a great plot (revisiting some unfinished business from the first tome), funny and tender moments... It's a must for fans of the series! Read by M. Maupin himself, that's great!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianna Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 01-07-13
    Marianna Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 01-07-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well written and well read"
    If you could sum up Mary Ann in Autumn in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining, provocative, satisfying


    What other book might you compare Mary Ann in Autumn to and why?

    The rest in the series.


    What about Armistead Maupin’s performance did you like?

    Excellent reader; easy to listen to with wonderful character development


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A must see if you've lived through the 70's & 80's.


    Any additional comments?

    Once I listened to "Tales of the CIty" I couldn't stop wanting to know more about the characters of Barberry Lane. I wish, however, that I had realized that this is the last in the series as it would be better to read or listen to them in sequence. So now I'm listening to them out of order but because of the narrater I don't mind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wld1 08-12-14
    wld1 08-12-14 Member Since 2010

    wld1

    ratings
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    31
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "This was much better"
    What did you love best about Mary Ann in Autumn?

    I loved that Maupin went back to the characters and told their stories. I loved that the stories, as in earlier Tales of the City books were interwoven, suggesting an inter-connectedness and real community.


    What three words best describe Armistead Maupin’s performance?

    Cynthia Nixon's better.


    If you could take any character from Mary Ann in Autumn out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Anna Madrigal


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Albuquerque, NM, United States 06-09-13
    Robert Albuquerque, NM, United States 06-09-13

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "You can't go home again"
    Any additional comments?

    The first books in the series were wonderful, easy reads. This book is a hard read, never liked the character MaryAnn and this confirms she should have stayed on the east coast. The series has become trite and should be retired.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edwin Williamson 11-19-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Mary Ann's OK"

    I found this engaging enough to distract me during a long car trip, but not really great.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Carroll 05-08-11
    J. Carroll 05-08-11 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    1
    Overall
    "Skip it"

    Really liked the original TALES OF THE CITY books; was excited when I read that Maupin was revisiting the characters. But, after SURE OF YOU and now this book, it's clear that some things are much better left in the past. I remember the original books as bright, open and generous. The new two, though, are gloomy, clastrophobia, dull and not even well written. Was Maupin always this bad at writing believable dialogue? I'm tempted to go back to the orginal books and see but, really, it's probably better just to leave them in the past.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • mrs
    Grantham, United Kingdom
    7/13/14
    Overall
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    Story
    "Loved it"

    Another brilliant listen, I have loved every one in this series and the characters all feel like friends. Mary Ann is probably my least favourite character but loved it none the less.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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