Has it really been 40 years?
Longtime San Francisco residents and Tales of the City fans might find it hard to believe that the saga of 28 Barbary Lane turned the big four-oh last August. Author Armistead Maupin’s columns first ran in the short-lived San Francisco edition of Marin County's Pacific Sun weekly in 1974 before being picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1976. The series became a much-anticipated weekly read for many bohemians of the day, and was subsequently published as a series of nine novels before being adapted as a television series for PBS in 1994.
The Tales of the City series brought representation of San Francisco's LGBT community to readers at a pivotal time in history, addressing issues of the early AIDS epidemic and highlighting the humanness of transgender people in an otherwise extremely homophobic and ill-informed era.
Readers looked forward to each installment of Maupin's serialized tales, eager to see what situations Mona Ramsey, Michael Tolliver, Anna Madgrigal and the story's naïve Midwest transplant, Mary Ann Singleton, would find themselves wrapped up in next.