“Perhaps the most sublime piece of popular literature America has ever produced…. As with the Beatles, everyone seems to like Maupin’s tales—and really, why would you want to find someone who didn’t?”



28 Barbary Lane gives you as a reader a glimpse of San Fransico in the 70’s and 80’s. A humours, endearing, happy and sad glimpse.

It starts just before the Aids epidemic, in a generous SF, with a veritable smorgasbord ready for the taking by queers seeking a safe haven. You get follow a diverse group of people living under the same roof, falling in and out of love, living their lives together and apart.

The book really takes you on a journey, and let’s you partake in a happier time, a time not without its problems, but a gayer time (pun intended). Its about finding the family you need, which isn’t always the family you are related to, and accepting that family is what you make and that that is OK, sometimes what you need most of all.

It is also a document containing important pieces of queer history, something which is very much needed, and also an important book in the sense that it tells stories about queers who are happy, and are able to live as their true selves, maybe not all of the time but in the bubble that was SF at that time, just before HIV and Aids started stealing our siblings from us. Just read it, it’s crazy, it’s wonderful, and it’s important.


Reviewed by:

Lee Graflund

Added 27th May 2019