There’s a new Tales of the City miniseries on Netflix next month, it’s time to go back to the books!
What are the Tales of the City about?
Written by American author Armistead Maupin, the Tales of the City book series chronicles the lives of a small group of friends living in San Francisco from the late ’70s to today.
The story began with a young woman from Cleveland, Ohio, named Mary Ann Singleton, who is visiting San Francisco on vacation. After deciding to stay, she found an apartment at 28 Barbary Lane where she met Anna Madrigal, the eccentric marijuana-growing landlady. She also became friends with the other tenants of the building. As the years passed, the lives of Mary Ann, Ana and the others changed. This is their stories.
Tales of the City Books in Order:
- Tales of the City – San Francisco, 1976. A naïve young secretary, fresh out of Cleveland, tumbles headlong into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, pot–growing landladies, cutthroat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests.
- More Tales of the City – The tenants of 28 Barbary Lane have fled their cozy nest for adventures far afield. Mary Ann Singleton finds love at sea with a forgetful stranger, Mona Ramsey discovers her doppelgänger in a desert whorehouse, and Michael Tolliver bumps into his favorite gynecologist in a Mexican bar. Meanwhile, their venerable landlady takes the biggest journey of all—without ever leaving home.
- Further Tales of the City – While Anna Madrigal imprisons an anchorwoman in her basement, Michael Tolliver looks for love at the National Gay Rodeo, DeDe Halcyon Day and Mary Ann Singleton track a charismatic psychopath across Alaska, and society columnist Prue Giroux loses her heart to a derelict living in a San Francisco park.
- Babycakes – When an ordinary househusband and his ambitious wife decide to start a family, they discover there’s more to making a baby than meets the eye. Help arrives in the form of a grieving gay neighbor, a visiting monarch, and the dashing young lieutenant who defects from her yacht.
- Significant Others – Tranquility reigns in the ancient redwood forest until a women-only music festival sets up camp downriver from an all-male retreat for the ruling class. Among those entangled in the ensuing mayhem are a lovesick nurseryman, a panic-stricken philanderer, and the world’s most beautiful fat woman.
- Sure of You – A fiercely ambitious TV talk show host finds she must choose between national stardom in New York and a husband and child in San Francisco. Caught in the middle is their longtime friend, a gay man whose own future is even more uncertain.
- Michael Tolliver Lives – Having survived the plague that took so many of his friends and lovers, Michael has learned to embrace the random pleasures of life, the tender alliances that sustain him in the hardest of times. He finds love with a younger man, attends to his dying fundamentalist mother in Florida, and finally reaffirms his allegiance to a wise octogenarian who was once his landlady.
- Mary Ann in Autumn – Twenty years have passed since Mary Ann Singleton left her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue her dream of a television career in New York. Now a pair of personal calamities has driven her back to the city of her youth and into the arms of her oldest friend, Michael “Mouse” Tolliver, a gardener happily ensconced with his much-younger husband.
- The Days of Anna Madrigal – Now ninety-two, and committed to the notion of “leaving like a lady,” Mrs. Madrigal has seemingly found peace with her “logical family” in San Francisco. Some members of Anna’s family are bound for the otherworldly landscape of Burning Man, the art community in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert where 60,000 revelers gather to construct a city designed to last only one week.