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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)

What members say

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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LOGICAL Love!

Armistead Maupin has been one of my favorite authors since I picked up Tales of the City 25 years ago. I’ve gone back to the Tales several times over the years and am never disappointed. It was such a pleasure to hear him talk about how some of the characters and plot lines evolved during the writing of these snapshots in time. And I loved hearing more about what shaped Armistead as a human being. I’m impatiently waiting on the edge of my seat for the release of the “Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin” on NEtflix. I had the pleasure of taking a picture with Mr Maupin at a concert where one of his texts had been set to music, and was performed by Frederica von Stade. Unfortunately, that picture was swallowed up by a crashed computer. But, the next time he’s in Seattle, I’ll be the first in line to thank him for all the laughter and tears I’ve enjoyed from his body of work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great memoir, so glad I met you Armistead

I read Logical Family for book group and had no idea who Armistead Maupin was... but now I’ll never forget him. Great writer, very interesting life, touching reflections throughout. I highly recommend listening to Armistead’s Reading of his memoir, ending with a great interview.

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  • Lili
  • West Coast
  • 03-13-18

Personal, sad, funny, and insightful.

I was far more familiar with Armistead Maupin’s books than the man himself. I can no longer say that.

In his 72 and a half years the author packed a great deal of living into his life, and shares much of it with us in this book. For me the most fascinating part of the memoir is the transformation from what he started out to be, into what he eventually became. It, shall we say, was an uncommon journey.

His spent essentially the first third of his life trying to make his father proud of him. These years led him to work for ultra conservative causes, join the military, go to Vietnam, and become involved with a number of people, including Jesse Helms, that ultimately spent their lives fighting against, what Maupin would spend the remainder of his life fighting for...LGBT rights and causes.

He didn’t come out to his parents until he was 32. Both of his parents struggled with this knowledge, especially his father, and this leads to the title of the book....the Logical Family he found for himself in the Gay Community, vs the biological family he came from. But make no mistake...Maupin dearly loved his parents and his two grandmothers.

I think this memoir is for more than just us fans of his Tales in the City books. I think anyone who is the lone liberal in a family of conservatives, anyone who has lived in San Francisco, anyone interested in the evolution of Gay Culture, and anyone trying to break free of the world’s expectations of them and come into their own...this is a book for you.

Maupin makes me think a bit of Forest Gump...he was in so many pivotal places in history, and came into contact with so many iconic people....from Harvey Milk to Nixon, from Rock Hudson to Jesse Helms. He grew up in North Carolina, in the pre civil rights days, he’s lived in New York, and has been in San Francisco since the bathhouse days, through the AIDS crisis, all the way through now when wide spread gentrification has made it impossible for the quirky low income folk to live on the same block as the society folk as it was in the 1970s and as it was depicted in the Tales series.

He has seen eras, and so many people, come and go. And he tells the story of all this with his unique insight from having been on both sides of it...the conservative and the liberal.

At the end of the recording is an interview of the author by Neil Gaiman. It starts out really slow when Gaiman asks him questions that were already answered in the book. But Gaiman finds his footing and the conversation between the two writers becomes both quite interesting and quite touching.



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A gem of a memoir<br /><br /><br />

In the late 70's, I wanted nothing more than to move to San Francisco . Armistead Maupin's books gave me a familiarity with The City that eased the transition when I finally arrived in 1980.
Logical Family filled in some of the back story, and allowed me to relive some of my own early adventures.
Simply splendid on many levels!

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Maupin is genuine and perfect

I loved this book so much. I enjoyed getting to know Armistead even more and understanding his motives. His narration of the book made it even better.

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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 &amp;quot;Tales of the City&amp;quot; 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 .