Mary Ann in Autumn (Tales of the City Series #8)

Mary Ann in Autumn (Tales of the City Series #8)

4.3 60
by Armistead Maupin
     
 

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“An enormously talented writer. . . . By writing about what’s seemingly different, Armistead Maupin always manages to capture what’s so hilariously, painfully true for all of us.” —Amy Tan, author of The Bonesetter’s Daughter

“Maupin writes with warmth, acuity and tremendous wit. . . . Read him.”

Overview

“An enormously talented writer. . . . By writing about what’s seemingly different, Armistead Maupin always manages to capture what’s so hilariously, painfully true for all of us.” —Amy Tan, author of The Bonesetter’s Daughter

“Maupin writes with warmth, acuity and tremendous wit. . . . Read him.” —Publishers Weekly

Following the success of his New York Times bestseller Michael Tolliver Lives, Armistead Maupin’s Mary Ann in Autumn is a touching portrait of friendship, family, and fresh starts, as the City by the Bay welcomes back Mary Ann Singleton, the beloved Tales of the City heroine who started it all. A new chapter begins in the lives of both Mary Ann and Michael “Mouse” Tolliver when she returns to San Francisco to rejoin her oldest friend after years in New York City…the reunion that fans of Maupin’s beloved Tales of the City series have been awaiting for years.

Editorial Reviews

Joseph Salvatore
…tenderhearted and frolicsome…Maupin has built Mary Ann a solid narrative, has given her not only a story, but an entire life. Mary Ann's is a tale of long-lost friends and unrealized dreams, of fear and regret, of penance and redemption—and of the unshakable sense that this world we love, this life we live, this drama in which we all play a part, does indeed go by much too fast.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
In the sure-to-please follow-up to Michael Tolliver Lives, the bestselling Tales of the City reboot, it's been 20 years since series anchor Mary Ann Singleton left her family and headed to New York. Maupin's San Francisco is comforting in its familiarity, and the gang is (mostly) all here, older, wiser, and settled in: Michael "Mouse" Tolliver is married to Ben; Shawna, Mary Ann's estranged daughter, is a popular sex blogger who is dating Otto, an enigmatic professional clown; and grand dame Anna Madrigal, once landlady to Michael and Mary Ann, is still kicking in her late 80s. Into this milieu returns Mary Ann, who ditched her husband and the young Shawna for a career in television. Now, nearing 60, she's back with news she can't bear to tell anyone but Michael. From the haven of his tiny garden cottage, Mary Ann regroups and confronts some uncomfortable chapters in her past. As ever, Maupin's edgy wit energizes the layered story lines. His keen eye for irony and human foible is balanced by an innate compassion in this examination of the life of a woman of a certain age. (Nov.)
New York Times
“Mary Ann slips right back into the warm, bantering world of [Armistead Maupin’s] earlier books. All his kale-eating, sustainable-gardening, Snuggie-joke-making characters are familiar, even if this is your first go-around with them.”
Los Angeles Times
“Maupin’s quirky yet engaging characters still speak to him.”
USA Today
“Maupin cranks up the hijinks and sharpens the social commentary. . . . Fasten your seatbelts, Tales fans. It’s going to be a bumpy, but entertaining ride.”
Chicago Sun-Times
Mary Ann in Autumn is a return to form...The resulting book is a heart-warming and life-affirming tale that should please fans as well as those new to the series...[Maupin’s books] continually remind us that we are all connected.”
Booklist
“The graying of the Tales of the City cast won’t sadden readers. This affectionate novel, with its carefully unfolding story line (and perfect ending), will work its warmth and charm.”
New York Times Book Review
“Tenderhearted and frolicsome...A tale of long-lost friends and unrealized dreams, of fear and regret, of penance and redemption—and of the unshakable sense that this world we love, this life we live, this drama in which we all play a part, does indeed go by much too fast.”
Seattle Times
“[A] resilient and enjoyable series. . .”
The Seattle Gay News
“A must read for fans of the [Tales of the City] books and Armistead Maupin.”
The Oregonian (Portland)
“Fans of the [Tales of the Cities series] will be happy to climb back into the hilly city’s stories. Those new to the series will also find it easy to slip into the pace of easy charm and irreverent characters in these compassionate, unordinary lives.”
Modern Tonic
“Even more satisfying than Michael Tolliver Lives, [Mary Ann in Autumn] is a juicy, twisty tale that’s of the moment (Facebook plays an essential role) as it takes us back to the heady days of our beloved San Francisco fantasyland.”
San Francisco magazine
“You don’t review a new installment of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series—you rejoice in it...[These] are not fictional characters but dear friends and soul mates, as permanently a part of this town’s heart as cable cars, the Folsom Street Fair, and Maupin himself...”
The SunBreak.com
“No other work of fiction featuring major gay characters has been. . .so influential, as the Tales of the City books.”
The Tucson Citizen
“This sassy, irreverent book explores the boundaries of the human experience which was the hallmark of Maupin’s earlier work. The main point is that Maupin has lost none of his magic and his characters remain an indelible part of our pop culture.”
San Francisco Magazine
"You don’t review a new installment of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series—you rejoice in it...[These] are not fictional characters but dear friends and soul mates, as permanently a part of this town’s heart as cable cars, the Folsom Street Fair, and Maupin himself..."
Library Journal
Revisiting the characters from Maupin's (www.armisteadmaupin.com) beloved "Tales of the City" series is like reconnecting with old friends. Mary Ann Singleton and her oldest friend, Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, are grayer in this eighth installment—following Michael Tolliver Lives (2007), also available from HarperAudio—as she returns to San Francisco after 20 years, and, faced with troubles old and new, is forced to reevaluate her life. The convergence of generations enables the novel to work in believable ways and helps to wrap up some loose ends. Created more than three decades ago, this series still resonates with humor, whether dealing with the practicalities of everyday life or the realities of aging and health-related issues. Maupin himself reads, and reads well, leaving listeners yearning for even more. Recommended as a necessary acquisition for libraries collecting the series. ["A must for fans, but new readers [, too,] will find it an accessible entry point," read the review of the Harper hc, LJ 10/1/10; a stage musical inspired by the series will premiere in San Francisco in May 2011.—Ed.]—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo
Kirkus Reviews

Maupin continues his popular Tales of the City saga (Michael Tolliver Lives, 2007, etc.) with the return to San Francisco of Mary Ann Singleton after 20 years in the cushy Connecticut suburbs.

She's caught her retired-CEO husband cheating via Skype, and she's been diagnosed with uterine cancer, so Mary Ann heads west to take refuge with Michael, her former housemate from 28 Barbary Lane, and his much-younger husband Ben. Lesbian buddies DeDe and D'or find Mary Ann a female oncologist, and while she's waiting for surgery, Ben gets her onto Facebook so she can reconnect with people who knew her as a local TV celebrity back in the '80s. Meanwhile, Shawna, the adopted daughter Mary Ann left with ex-husband Brian when she moved east, is looking to expand her popular Grrrl on the Loose blog into subjects beyond sex. Jake, Michael's transgendered partner in his gardening firm, doesn't have the money to complete the transition from female to male because business is lousy following the economic meltdown, though San Francisco's bohemians are hopeful following Obama's election. And Cliff, Ben's casual acquaintance from the dog park, is brooding over something Ben would rather not know about, since the elderly drunk clearly has serious personal problems. Maupin's chronicle of interconnected lives and tangled personal relations is as engaging and warmhearted as ever, but he's more careless than usual with structure. Shawna fixates on a drug-addicted, mentally ill homeless woman who proves to be linked to the Barbary Lane past via an outrageous plot twist that also connects a creepy Facebook "friend" of Mary Ann's with a pedophile she once knew—who turns up toting a gun. Maupin should have trusted his fallible, lovable characters to sustain our interest; resorting to such a luridly melodramatic device detracts from the pleasure of reacquainting ourselves with them.

Agreeable entertainment until the ridiculous denouement.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062020147
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/02/2010
Series:
Tales of the City Series , #8
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
156,465
File size:
711 KB

Meet the Author

Armistead Maupin is the author of the nine-volume Tales of the City series, which includes Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, Michael Tolliver Lives, Mary Ann in Autumn, and now The Days of Anna Madrigal. Maupin's other novels include Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener. Maupin was the 2012 recipient of the Lambda Literary Foundation's Pioneer Award. He lives in San Francisco with his husband, the photographer Christopher Turner.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
San Francisco, California
Date of Birth:
May 13, 1944
Place of Birth:
Washington, D.C.
Education:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Mary Ann in Autumn 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Two decades have passed since Mary Ann left her husband and daughter in San Francisco for a TV career in New York. Meanwhile her ex-spouse Michael "Mouse" and Ben are married. Mary Ann's estranged daughter sex blogger Shawna is seeing professional clown Otto. Mary Ann\'s former landlady in San Francisco, octogenarian Anna Madrigal is still running wild. As Mary Ann nears her sexagenarian birthday, she returns to the West Coast to inform Michael about some news she cannot share with anyone else. Staying at the cottage shared by Mouse and Ben, she finds solace in the garden as she relooks the errors of her life. The latest Tales of the City (see Michael Tolliver Lives) is a terrific intelligent return to the Bay area twenty years after Mary Ann left and everyone moved on with their lives. The ensemble cast is full dimensional as Mary Ann in Autumn of her life is still seeking her muse, but with experience tries to rectify the errors of her youth whether any of those she hurt want her to or not. Like all of the Tales of the City, Armistead Maupin provides his trademark wit that affirms why this sagacious saga has had a TV miniseries based on it. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently put down a book that felt like walking through thick mud. After too many pages, struggling to hang on, I finally gave up. At that point I returned to an old reliable - Armistead Maupin and felt relieved there were two books I haven't read. A wonderful thing happened. I sailed through the first chapter and felt like I was back home in Tales of the City. Maupin's prose swing from the present, to the past and back to the present again on a joyful ride. He has done something all writers should do, bring their characters to life on the page by being distinct, real and likeable. Flaws included. Wanting us to hunger for where they are and what they are doing today on a journey we enjoyed when we first met them. More please -
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a big fan of Tales of the city, I enjoyed this one a great deal. But it seems this is the end of the series, hopefully not. I could not put this book down, it was always making me want to read one more chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book harkins back to the Tales of the City stories; it is like seeing a long, lost friend. This is Maupin's best novel in several years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good read / not a great one. It was fun to catch up with the characters from Maupin's previous Tales of the City books. The characters are richly written and it's like going back home again. That said, I don't think it had the qurkiness of the other books in the series. I would defintely suggest reading this book if you've read the series. A new reader might be a little lost.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DCFantasyNerd More than 1 year ago
Confession: I have never liked Mary Ann Singleton. She always seemed snooty, self-absorbed, and generally unlikable. That said, the newest installment in the Tales of the City has blown me away. Maupin has moved back from his single point of view chapter style in Michael Tolliver Lives. Although we are treated to the thoughts of several characters, the chapters are longer than in the previous Tales releases, which allows Maupin to go in much greater depth into the characters thoughts and motivations. The plot of the story holds the reader's attention, with the expected Maupinian plot twist for the conclusion of the story. A great read.
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Douglas Schlitz More than 1 year ago
Great read, true to the series, hope there will be more
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