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Tales of the City is a series of seven novels written by American author Armistead Maupin. Tales of the City is also the name of the first book in the series. The first four books in the series were originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle while the fifth book was serialized in the San Francisco Examiner.
In 1993 the first book was made into a television miniseries, Tales of the City, produced by Channel 4 in the UK and screened by PBS in the U.S. in 1994. The second and third books in the series made their television debuts in 1998 and 2001. In a public reading at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London in July 2007, Maupin indicated that it is unlikely that there will be any further mini-series or films made.
As well as the novels, Maupin has collaborated on several Tales-themed musical projects. Anna Madrigal Remembers was a musical work composed by Jake Heggie and performed by choir Chanticleer and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade on 6 August 1999, for which Maupin provided a new libretto. He also participated in a concert series with Seattle Men's Chorus entitled Tunes From Tales (Music for Mouse), which included readings from his books and music from the era.[1]
In 2007, 18 years after the sixth novel in the series, Sure of You, Maupin released the novel Michael Tolliver Lives. Maupin originally stated that this novel is "NOT a sequel to Tales [of the City] and it's certainly not Book 7 in the series" [2], however he later conceded that "I’ve stopped denying that this is book seven in Tales of the City, as it clearly is ... I suppose I didn’t want people to be thrown by the change in the format, as this is a first person novel unlike the third person format of the Tales of the City books and it’s about one character who interrelates with other characters. Having said that, it is still very much a continuation of the saga and I think I realised it was very much time for me to come back to this territory." [3]
Fans of the series were delighted to have a new chapter but Michael Tolliver Lives was criticized for its thinly veiled autobiographical nature and for being the work of a beloved author trying to remember how he did it first time round.[4]
Maupin has indicated he is now working on a new novel about the Tales of the City characters, commenting that "Whatever I have to offer seems to come through those characters, and I see no reason to abandon them." [5]

The series opens with the arrival of Mary Ann Singleton, a naive young woman from Cleveland, Ohio. She finds an apartment at 28 Barbary Lane, the domain of the eccentric marijuana-growing landlady Anna Madrigal. Mary Ann becomes friends with the other tenants of the building: the hippyish bisexual Mona Ramsey (who, though a central character, is not in all of the books); heterosexual lothario Brian Hawkins; the sinister and cagey roof tenant Norman Neal Williams; and Michael Tolliver, a sweet and personable gay man known to friends as Mouse (as in Mickey Mouse), who becomes very important to the series. Beyond the house, lovers and friends guide Mary Ann through her San Franciscan adventures. Mona's ex-lover D'orothea Wilson, returns from a modelling assignment in New York, while Michael's lover and DeDe's gynecologist, Jon Fielding, becomes part of the social group. Edgar Halcyon, Mary Ann's and Mona's boss, Edgar's socialite daughter DeDe Halcyon-Day, and her scheming bisexual husband Beauchamp Day all provide a glimpse into a more affluent Californian class, while Mrs. Madrigal's mother and owner of the Blue Moon Lodge brothel, Mother Mucca, brings mystery and comic relief. In the last two books, Thack Sweeney becomes Michael's lover. Real life people such as Jim Jones and a thinly veiled Elizabeth Taylor are mentioned in the story lines.



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