Wednesday, June 13, 2007

5 Questions for Armistead Maupin

5 questions for Armistead Maupin
By Jocelyn McClurg, USA TODAY
San Francisco's 28 Barbary Lane was home away from home to millions of fans of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series (1978-1989).

Some of Tales' most beloved characters return in Michael Tolliver Lives (HarperCollins, $25.95), including the HIV-positive title character. The author, 63, spoke with USA TODAY.

1: Why revisit Michael?

I wanted to examine my own experience as an aging gay man. Michael is a little bit me, a little bit who I'd like to be and a little bit who I'd like to sleep with.

2: Michael is doing pretty well for himself with a much younger guy, as are you. (Maupin married Christopher Turner, 35, in Canada earlier this year.)

It's the best time of my life. Not specifically because my husband is young, but because he's kind and understanding. The young part doesn't hurt, of course.

3: Could you have imagined 30 years ago that one day gay couples could marry?

In a word, no. (Laughs.)

4: Why do you think readers fell in love with Tales of the City?Maybe because it imagined a world that was possible but had not yet been achieved. The very fact that Barbary Lane encompasses gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and straight characters makes it appealing to everyone.

5: Why has humor been important to you as a writer?It's been important to me as a man. It's always been my defense against a world that is fundamentally quite cruel.

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