Tag Archives: Tales of the City

“Tales of The City” by Armistead Maupin

Related by time and place to Season of The Witch, and mentioned in it, is Armistead Maupin’s farcical comedy, Tales of the City. It first came out as a serial in 1976 in the “San Francisco Chronicle“, then in the “San Francisco Examiner”, and in novel form in 1978.  Later it became a TV mini-series and sequel novels were written.  This time capsule back to the ’70’s is packed with period and local references.  The book is composed of vignettes alternating between the day-to-day lives of the major characters.  In spite of its ephemeral nature it carries an enduring theme: people are often not who they seem to be on the surface.  Nearly all the characters have two layers which are in ironic conflict with each other.  Their facades slowly give way to their deeper identities creating both tragedy and comedy in the process.  It is a good complement to Season of The Witch for experiencing the flavor of the times.

Bill Sargeant