A memoir from the author of the Tales of the City series, chronicling his odyssey from the conservative, racist old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to ground-breaking writer and gay rights pioneer.
Maupin’s memories are by turns touching and humorous, as when he recalls losing his virginity in 1969 ... Maupin highlights his Hollywood friendships, which move beyond name-dropping and into poignant conversations about coming out, particularly during the fight against AIDS in the 1980s ... the heart of the book comes through when Maupin’s worlds collide: His parents happen to be in town for a visit when Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone are assassinated. The sorrow of watching his Republican father at an emotional memorial for a great figure, a victim of homophobia, suddenly turns the narrative into a heartrending portrait of redemption ... Engaging and revelatory, Maupin’s memoir is a delight, punctuating a distinguished career in letters.
...[a] vivid and charming memoir ... Maupin’s true-life tale bears stylistic trademarks that made his fiction popular: a knack for memorable characters, a humorous outlook even in the face of serious topics (wars, AIDS, life in the closet) and a heart-on-sleeve willingness to jerk a few tears and sprinkle plenty of fairy dust. He peppers the long arc of his 72 years with the snappy skill of a seasoned, deadline-driven vignettist ... Logical Family falls off a bit at the end, as Maupin interrupts himself with name-dropping anecdotes and perhaps too much about seeking to make peace with his parents, but his memoir is never less than engaging.
The pleasure of this book, beyond the funny anecdotes and poignant reflections, is getting a behind-the-scenes look at a treasured series of novels and reading a first-hand account of a significant human rights movements in our nation’s history. Maupin offers a vivid look at key moments—such as the murder of Harvey Milk—and the impact these had on the gay rights movement and his life. Unsurprisingly, Maupin is a sympathetic and soulful storyteller. His account of a past struggle for equality is especially important in our fraught present.