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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
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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Robert R. on 10-13-17

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Tod T on 02-15-18


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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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