More humpage, please! ‘Tales of the City’ author shares gossip ...

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More humpage, please! ‘Tales of the City’ author shares gossip and tips

Armistead Maupin talks about 'out' actors, his homophobic ‘Daddy’, and realising ‘people were going to be famous for being queer’

Helen Brown

“Orgasm!” shouts Armistead Maupin, with glee. I can almost see the word drifting out through the stained glass of his newly acquired 1920s home, into the tasteful haze of south London suburbia. A naughty, neon word, to make the hydrangeas blush pink against all that muted Farrow & Ball paintwork.

The 75-year-old author settles carefully into an armchair and continues with his anecdote about reading from his Tales of the City novels at a fundraiser for Tourette’s syndrome sufferers in Los Angeles. “That’s what they would shout when they got really excited, as a version of applause. Orgasm! Wonderful! It would be useful to have more of that sort of feedback at literary events.”

British fans will have the opportunity to offer such feedback when Maupin embarks on his first UK tour in September. He’ll be reading highlights from his groundbreaking fiction and discussing how the cultural and sexual landscape has shifted since his San Francisco Chronicle columns first began introducing gay and transsexual characters into the mainstream in 1976...

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