An Evening with Armistead Maupin
Monday 23 September 2019
In his first ever UK tour, Fane Productions and Kilimanjaro present an evening with the bestselling, much-loved author and LGBT activist, Armistead Maupin.
Maupin has been blazing a trail through US popular culture since the 1970’s, when his iconic and ground-breaking series Tales of the City was first published as a column in the San Francisco Chronicle. The novel series has been taking the literary world by storm ever since, and is currently being adapted by Netflix into a much-anticipated new series, starring Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis and Ellen Page.
Maupin worked at WRAL-TV (Channel 5) in Raleigh, a station then managed by future U.S. Senator Jesse Helms. Helms nominated Maupin for a patriotic award, which he won. Maupin says he was a typical conservative and even a segregationist at this time and admired Helms, a family friend, as a “hero figure”. He later changed his opinions — “I’ve changed and he hasn’t” — and condemned Helms at a gay pride parade on the steps of the North Carolina State Capitol. Maupin is a veteran of the United States Navy; he served several tours of duty including one in the Vietnam War.
Maupin’s work on a Charleston newspaper was followed with an offer of a position at the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. He says he had known he was gay since childhood, but only decided to come out in 1974 when he was about 30. The same year, he began what would become the Tales of the City series as a serial in a Marin County-based newspaper, the Pacific Sun, moving to the San Francisco Chronicle after the Sun’s San Francisco edition folded.
In 1978, Maupin publicly accused San Francisco Police Inspector Dave Toschi of faking one of the Zodiac Killer’s taunting letters to the media, seriously and irreparably damaging Toschi’s career and reputation. Maupin claimed to have noticed a “similarity” between anonymous fan mail Toschi had sent him (due to Maupin basing one of his Tales of the City characters on him) and a Zodiac letter received by the San Francisco Chronicle on April 24, 1978. While Toschi was cleared of being the Zodiac letter’s author by the USPS crime lab, he was removed from the case by his superiors, and his chances of succeeding Charles Gain as chief of the San Francisco PD were immediately destroyed. This incident is portrayed in the 2007 David Fincher film Zodiac.
Don’t miss the chance to join America’s ultimate storyteller, as he recounts his favourites tales from the past 4 decades, offering his own engaging observations on society and the world we inhabit.
Tickets from £21.40 from box office on 0844 871 3024 or book online at www.atgtickets.com/york