Armistead Maupin (13th May 1944) is an American writer best known for his Tales of the City, a series of novels set in San Francisco.
Maupin was born in Washington DC and graduated from Needham Broughton High School before attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His first foray into writing was as a journalist for The Daily Tar Heel.
In 1974 he began what would become Tales of the City as a colum in the Pacific Sun newspaper, moving to the San Francisco Chronicle after the Sun’s San Francisco edition folded.
Maupin gained some notoriety in 1979 when he publicly accused San Francisco Police Inspector Dave Toschi of faking one of the Zodiac Killer’s taunting letters to the media, seriously damaging Toschi’s career and reputation. Maupin claimed to have noticed a similarity between anonymous fan mail Toschi had sent him (Maupin based one of his Tales of the City characters on Toschi) and a Zodiac letter received by the Chronicle on April 24th, 1978.
Today we’re looking at the man through his quotes and we hope you’ll enjoy these!
“If you want to know who the oppressed minorities in America are, simply look at who gets their own shelf in the bookstore. A black shelf, a women’s shelf, and a gay shelf.”
“We’re all damned fools! Some of us just have more fun with it than others. Loosen up, dear! Don’t be so afraid to cry . . . or laugh, for that matter. Laugh all you want and cry all you want and whistle at pretty men in the street and to hell with anybody who thinks you’re a damned fool!”
“It all goes so fast, she thought. We dole out our lives in dinner parties and plane flights, and it’s over before we know it. We lose everyone we love, if they don’t lose us first, and every single thing we do is intended to distract us from that reality.”
From Mary Ann in Autumn
“Sooner or later, though, no matter where in the world we live, we must join the diaspora, venturing beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense for us.”
“It took so long to find you…and now I don’t want it to change. I want it all set in amber. I want us and nobody else in the most selfish way you can imagine. I can’t help it–I’m old-fashioned. I believe marriage is between a man and a man.”