Before there was Sex & the City, there was Tales of the City, where the characters screwed around as happy as they pleased, got giddily stoned and lived an idyllic San Francisco lifestyle, AIDS and all. It was 1974 when writer Armistead Maupin first published what would turn out to be his wildly successful Tales of the City series. Initially, the installments ran in the San Francisco edition of the Pacific Sun and later the Chronicle. The stories revolved around a bunch of San Francisco singles, mainly new transplant Mary Ann Singleton; her mysterious, pot-pushing landlady Mrs. Madrigal; and gay pal Michael Tolliver. Maupin will discuss his just-published ninth novel in the series. Mary Ann in Autumn finds our heroine, now 57(!), back in San Francisco after living in New York.

Thu., Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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