Yesterday the latest “Tales of the City” story was released by author Armistead Maupin. Titled “Mary Ann in Autumn” it is the story of Mary Ann’s return trip to San Francisco after many years of east coast life.
I first read the Tales of the City series before moving to San Francisco, but after coming out as a gay man. I absolutely adored them – not only was it fun to imagine living in San Francisco, but the characters are all such interesting people that I quickly took an interest in and liking to. Whether it be Mouse, Mary Ann, Brian, or Mrs. Madrigal, I couldn’t wait to read more about them.
Now, as a resident of SF, I find that I enjoy them even more. I don’t know why, but the way Armistead Maupin mixes real San Francisco locations and events with fictional characters is just enchanting. While the stories are fictional, and take a bit of poetic license with San Francisco and our neighborhoods, for the most part the books hew very true to what my experience of San Francisco has been. You can think of them as perhaps the ultimate neighborhood guide for San Francisco. Either way, if you haven’t yet read them, and you are a San Francisco fan, you owe yourself some quality reading time with the entire series.