Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Harper Perennial. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.
Do you know Mary Ann? If so, you've waited eagerly for Armistead Maupin to publish another novel in his Tales of the City series. Lucky you, Mary Ann in Autumn came out in paperback just last week. If you don't know Mary Ann and her friends, well, you're in for a treat. Take a look at the summary:
Twenty years have passed since Mary Ann Singleton left her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue her dream of a television career in New York. Now a pair of personal calamities has driven her back to the city of her youth and into the arms of her oldest friend, Michael “Mouse” Tolliver, a gardener happily ensconced with his much-younger husband.I read the first Mary Ann collection, Tales of the City, many years ago. I don't remember the details but I do remember feeling totally involved with Mary Ann and her gang. Michael, Brian, Mona, Mrs. Madrigal, and the others are so well formed I had strong opinions about them, liking some, almost hating others, and wishing a few were my next-door neighbors.
More than three decades in the making, Armistead Maupin's legendary Tales of the City series rolls into a new age, still sassy, irreverent, and curious, and still exploring the boundaries of the human experience with insight, compassion, and mordant wit.
Maupin is more than a master of characterizations, though. He was part of the first wave of authors to write about AIDS, and many of his characters are gay or might be gay. Using humor and a host of characters from different economic classes and sexual orientations, Maupin brilliantly weaves social commentary into his slice-of-life stories.
I've only just started Mary Ann in Autumn, and I'm already back in San Francisco with Mary Ann as she orders a Swiss Orange Chip ice cream cone and revisits her old neighborhood. My heart goes out to young Ben as he chats up friends at the dog park trying not to worry about what might happen now that Michael's old friend is back in town. I still don't know Mary Ann's news, but I'm looking forward to fun reading ahead.
Here are some thoughts about Mary Ann in Autumn; click on the links for the full reviews.
- Wendy from Caribou's Mom writes: "As in all of Maupin’s books, the characters are who drive the story and draw the reader in. Flawed, original and wholly likable, Maupin’s characters are a joy to spend time with."
- Publishers Weekly concludes: "As ever, Maupin's edgy wit energizes the layered story lines. His keen eye for irony and human foible is balanced by an innate compassion in this examination of the life of a woman of a certain age."
- Libdrone Books says: "I did not so much read Armistead Maupin’s new eighth volume in the Tales of the City series . . . near so much as I devoured it in a single sitting."
Harper Perennial is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note posted here on June 18, 2010. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. And don't miss the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.