Friday, May 19, 2006

Great Britain names "Tales of the City" as 'The Big Gay Read'

Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" was named the winner of a competition throughout Great Britain to find their favourite lesbian or gay book.

Those Brits always have loved San Francisco. Given that there was a British documentary on TOTC years back (not to mention if not for them, the series might never have been filmed) I don't think there's any great surprise there.

It's interesting that a series of novels that began almost 30 years ago would outpoll more recent books.

Armistead Maupin received his award from Sir Ian McKellen at The Big Gay Read Literature Festival held May 12-18 in Manchester, England (click on the header above for a link to their site
for more information). There is also a list of the top ten books submitted by readers. From what I could see of the website, the citywide festival puts American LGBT literary organizations to shame. The Lambda Literary Foundation can barely survive. The Big Gay Read was, by contrast, a very reader-friendly event, and possibly a model for other communities to use.

It helps that I'm still coming off of the high from the LA Times Festival of Books and the Asian American Writers Congress, with more than four months until I can again indulge at the West Hollywood Book Fair.

Armistead Maupin's well designed site ( has, among many other things, a cool tour of the sites from the TOTC books.

It's not the only gay literary landmark tour in the U.S., but it's a fun one. San Francisco has no shortage of literary tours, of course. There's the Beat tour, the Dashiell Hammett tour, and literary sites from Jack London to Ina Coolbrith and more. No city in America has named more streets after famous authors associated with their community.

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