“Mr. Maupin invented San Francisco.” Quentin Crisp
|Photo: OMG it's San Francsico by Daniel Hoherd. |
Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence.
‘Much-loved’ is a phrase often used about writers and their work. There are few, however, to whom it genuinely applies; Armistead Maupin is one such author.
First published in 1978, Tales of the City made an immediate impact and won the hearts of readers the world over. San Francisco in the late 1970s, a place of dreams and free love... who could have guessed that Maupin’s collection of unconventional characters at 28 Barbary Lane, with its almost mystical landlady Anna Madrigal, would go on to span nine novels and three decades?
It's rumoured that people have uprooted and moved body and soul to San Francisco, so passionate is their love for ‘the Tales’. So it makes perfect sense that Tales of the City is one of this year’s World Book Night selected novels. An event that seeks to ignite a passion for reading in those who never normally read, the World Book Night selectors choose books based on the strength of their appeal.
The author himself is a World Book Night fan, and thrilled to be on the list:
"World Book Night has to rank as one of the most ingenious new literacy schemes of the 21st century – volunteers giving books away to strangers on the street in an act of deliberate infection. It's the love of reading 'going viral' with actual eye contact involved, so the rewards are profound for both giver and receiver.”As part of our celebration of the event we’re asking Twitter followers to share with us a tale of their city. In 140 characters, of course. The most inventive, touching and inspiring of these will win a free copy of Tales of the City. Let’s take up the gauntlet thrown down by Maupin and really get this thing going viral.