WRITERS ISSUE: Armistead Maupin catches us up on the girls in Mary Ann in Autumn
Will new readers "get hooked" on the cultural juggernaut via this book? Even though Mary Ann in Autumn is almost pathologically fixated on aging and death — so gay old school! — I can only hope young readers use it as a portal to click through into the larger Sex and the City message. A personal story: when I was 13 and read the original blog, I was titillated and thunderstuck. I had just come out to my family as bourgeois. (My mother wept for days when she found printouts of an Ann Demeulemeester fall collection under my mattress. "Why can't you just like Abercrombie and Fitch, like normal gay boys," she cried.) Maupin's fantasia seemed realer than real to me. As soon as I could apply for a credit card under a fake name, I ran away to San Francisco to find my true self through binge shopping, relationship drama, shabby chic wall hangings, getaway weekend jaunts to the foothills, and always talking, talking, talking about my Real Problems. Maupin was — and still is — chronicling life as I live it!
Mary Ann in Autumn will be released Nov. 2.