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Publisher's Summary

In this long-awaited memoir, the beloved author of the best-selling Tales of the City series chronicles his odyssey from the old South to freewheeling San Francisco and his evolution from curious youth to groundbreaking writer and gay rights pioneer. Also included is an exclusive conversation between Maupin and best-selling author Neil Gaiman.

Born in the mid-20th century and raised in the heart of conservative North Carolina, Armistead Maupin lost his virginity to another man "on the very spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired". Realizing that the South was too small for him, this son of a traditional lawyer packed his earthly belongings into his Opel GT (including a beloved portrait of a Confederate ancestor) and took to the road in search of adventure. It was a journey that would lead him from a homoerotic Navy initiation ceremony in the jungles of Vietnam to that strangest of strange lands: San Francisco in the early 1970s.

Reflecting on the profound impact those closest to him have had on his life, Maupin shares his candid search for his "logical family", the people he could call his own. "Sooner or later, we have to venture beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense for us," he writes. "We have to, if we are to live without squandering our lives." From his loving relationship with his palm-reading Grannie who insisted Maupin was the reincarnation of her artistic bachelor cousin, Curtis, to an awkward conversation about girls with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, Maupin tells of the extraordinary individuals and situations that shaped him into one of the most influential writers of the last century.

Maupin recalls his losses and life-changing experiences with humor and unflinching honesty and brings to life flesh-and-blood characters as endearing and unforgettable as the vivid, fraught men and women who populate his enchanting novels. What emerges is an illuminating portrait of the man who depicted the liberation and evolution of America's queer community over the last four decades with honesty and compassion - and inspired millions to claim their own lives.

©2017 Literary Bent, LLC (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"A book for any of us, gay or straight, who have had to find our family. Maupin is one of America's finest storytellers, and the story of his life is a story as fascinating, as delightful and as compulsive as any of the tales he has made up for us." (Neil Gaiman)
"I fell in love with Maupin's effervescent Tales of the City decades ago, and his genius turn at memoir is no less compelling. Logical Family is a must read." (Mary Karr)

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Ends Abruptly

I've read all of Armistead Maupin's books over the years, enjoying some much more than others, finding some absolutely delightful, and some wildly uneven. This account of the author's life kept my attention, and introduced me to a side of his early life I could barely imagine given the difference in our ages, but it glosses over areas of his life I know about, relationships, and events, and then (worse) comes to an abrupt halt with an account of his last meeting with his father. It literally ended (with years and years uncovered) and then said "Epilogue," at which point Maupin read his famous coming out letter for Michael Toliver, and then an interview followed with Neil Gaiman.

What's the rush? I would have much preferred the author was thorough and didn't gloss over so much of his story, and all I can think is he and his publisher are leaving room for a followup.

I was satisfied with the content, but disappointed with the abrupt end to it, and overall I was left disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Mr. Maupin can tell a story!

Mr. Maupin is a talented author who can make a story seem deceptively breezy and fun. But there's so much warmth, wit and wisdom in everything he does. There's also plenty of edge and a touch of playful wickedness. I loved hearing about what went into the making of the author of the exceptional "Tales of the City" series. Not only is Mr. Maupin brilliant at crafting a story, he's brilliant at telling a story. He's a great narrator with just enough theatricality and a voice that feels like sharing a cozy blanket with an old friend.

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Another wonderful Tale

A beautiful memoir as told by the magical story teller Armistead Maupin. If you’re a fan of his Takes of the city series or any of his works, you’ll Love this memoir. As with all of his stories, you feel like you’re a privileged intimate insider into his world .