Attitude Literary Award: Armistead Maupin

The 'Tales of the City' author is still shaping the queer narrative after almost half a century.


Armistead Maupin has been honoured with the Literary Award at the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards 2019, powered by Jaguar.

The Tales of the City author, 75, has shaped the lives of queer readers for almost half a century through the diverse cast of characters that reside at San Francisco's fictional 28 Barbary Lane, and 2019 has proved there's still a thirst for the vibrant world he dreamt up with the launch of a new Netflix mini-series based on his work.

Speaking in Attitude's Awards issue - available to download and to order globally now - Armistead reflects on the lasting legacy Tales has left 45 years after it began life as a daily newspaper column.

"I'm not a placard guy. I applaud everyone who is, but I feel I do my work at the typewriter," he says.

"The mini-series has done terrifically well in countries where it needs to make a difference.

"Where queers are being oppressed by their cultures, they're watching the show, and that thrills me, that Tales still has teeth after all these years."

While Netflix's revival of Tales has been warmly embraced by today's society, during the '70s, '80s and '90s Armistead's work was met with fierce opposition by those who would seek to stifle queer voices and experiences.

Armistead Maupin, shot exclusively for the Attitude Awards issue by Markus Bidaux

"It's a very satisfying feeling", he says of the homophobic letters, complaint, and bigoted senatorial speeches Tales has elicited over the years. "You feel like you're an artist.

"When your enemies are that vile, you know you're doing something right."

Read the full interview with Amistead in the Attitude Awards issue, out now.

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: 3 issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.

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