Armistead Maupin biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Armistead Maupin

Armistead Maupin

How to pronounce Armistead Maupin: arm-ih-STED MAW-pin

Armistead Maupin Biography

Armistead Maupin was born in Washington, D.C., in 1944 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean and with the River Patrol Force in Vietnam. Maupin worked as a reporter for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before being assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. In 1976 he launched his groundbreaking Tales of the City serial in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Maupin is the author of several novels, including the seven-volume Tales of the City series, Maybe the Moon, The Night Listener and, most recently, Michael Tolliver Lives. Three miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three Tales novels. The Night Listener became a feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette.

Maupin lives in San Francisco with his husband, Christopher Turner.

Armistead Maupin's website

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Interview

Armistead Maupin briefly discusses the autobiographical aspects of his novels as well as his organic process of writing.

You are known for producing complex plotlines full of unexpected twists. Does this require careful planning, or is the process more organic in nature?
I always let a storyline percolate for a while before I begin to write, but even then I have only a general road map of the territory. Many of the side trips arise unexpectedly, which is a source of delight to me. Sometimes, of course, it's necessary to rewrite in order to look like I'd always planned on taking that side trip. This requires engaging both sides of your brain simultaneously. That is, you have to maintain a kind of formal structure but go a little crazy at the same time. And, for me, that's never a speedy process. I usually write two pages a day at the very most. I wish I could let it spill out heedlessly, but I've grown more and more fussy over the years--thanks, in part, to the invention of the word processor.

Did you know how The Night Listener would end when you began it?
No. That came to me very close to the end, when I was out walking the dog. But it arose from what I'd already learned about Gabriel--and about myself--in the course of writing the book. It was thrillingly obvious, too, as if I should have seen it all along. ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Armistead Maupin at BookBrowse
Logical Family jacket Mary Ann in Autumn jacket Michael Tolliver Lives jacket The Night Listener jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Armistead Maupin but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

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    Roseann "Rosie" O'Donnell is an eleven-time Emmy Award-winning American comedian, television talk show host, author, and film, television, and stage actress. She has also been a magazine editor and continues to be a celebrity... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Night Listener

    Try:
    Find Me
    by Rosie O'Donnell

  • Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons, a former music journalist and television personality, is the author of Man and Boy, winner of the Book of the Year prize. He began his career as a music journalist on the NME, writing about punk music. Later, he... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Night Listener

    Try:
    Man and Boy
    by Tony Parsons

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