Armistead Maupin made journalistic history in 1976 when his “Tales of the City” series began running in the San Francisco Chronicle. He created vivid characters who came from all walks of life (to put it mildly). His stories of Mary Ann, the naive Midwestern transplant, Michael, the gay young man with a strong romantic streak, and Anna Madrigal, the landlady who watched over them all, both won readers’ hearts and helped bring the gay lifestyle into the mainstream.
The newspaper installments became books – the first, “Tales of the City,” was published in 1978. Now, 36 years later, Maupin has written the ninth and final installment, “The Days of Anna Madrigal.” Tonight on “Well Read,” the books and authors interview program on state public affairs network TVW, Maupin looks back on the long story he has told and marvels at how much things have changed since he started spinning his tales of 28 Barbary Lane.
“Well Read” airs at 7 and 10 p.m. on TVW (in Seattle, Comcast channel 23). Or you can watch it here. If you find yourself getting a little weepy contemplating the final days of Anna Madrigal – well, me too.