Friday, May 30

Tales from my City

In my mid 20's I read the Tales of the City books, 20 or so years after they were first published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The central character of Mary-Anne, a shy girl from Ohio who falls in love with the city, had much in common with the woman I would eventually marry.

Tonight Anne and I walked to the Brattle Theatre to listen to Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin read an extract from his latest book Michael Tolliver Lives.

It's a brave man who stands in front of an audience and reads a chapter about an all-male sexual three-way, and it's both a gent and a good writer who can explain all of the explicit shenanigans with wit, warmth and great humor.

The same qualities applied to the Q&A session afterwards. Maupin was honest enough to explain that two of the best plot lines of his books were influenced by reader letters during the early serializations of his stories. Many of his other inspirations came from funny stories he heard from the era, and he was humble in revealing his sources.

He's also great friends with Laura Linney who I've had a crush on since she starred as Mary-Anne in the TV version of the books.

Tonight was the perfect night to remind myself why I love living in Cambridge. One of my favorite authors, talking to a group of about 30, mostly straight people, about gay group sex, just a 10 minute walk from my house, for only $5!

Next week, for the same price, we get to see Lewis Black talking about his new book Me of Little Faith, in a church, even closer to our house.

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