11 February 2014
Armistead Maupin Tells Tales
Armistead Maupin at the British Library. Photo: M Shaw CC BY
When Amanda Palmer came to play she took great delight in the chance to swear in the British Library. Last night, Armistead Maupin also took advantage of the situation and similarly enjoyed the slight frission of the library setting: exclaiming at least twice, 'I can't believe I just said that in the august British Library!' after an explanation of a piece of slang or juicy anecdote. But this was just one aspect of an evening that took in life in the round – love, death, humour, politics, religion, sports (yes, the Sochi Olympics).
Maupin was in our particular city to talk about the latest and final volume of his Tales... series, The Days of Anna Madrigal (and which is currently top of the UK bestseller list). Interviewed by salonniere and author of Maggie & Me, Damian Barr, Maupin talked about Burning Man, his road trip to P-Town, husband Chris, Californian governors, London socialites, realtors, Vertigo, Rock Hudson, and, perhaps most shockingly, his early years as a young Republican, during which he met Richard Nixon ('there's always the sound of a sharp intake of breath in the room when I tell people that'). We also heard more about the characters of the much-loved series of novels, the actors who inhabited them for the TV series, and the middle name of Laura Linney's child. Questions from the sold-out crowd revealed the affection in which Maupin is held - as well as the importance his books have to those growing up in the 80s. The evening was rounded off with a concluding set of songs from Sarah Jane Morriss, ex-Communard and Maupin cousin.
We hope that there will be a podcast of the evening; if not, there is the possible promise of a one-man show, announced over Twitter by one of the audience.