Review: Tales of Anna Madrigal

The Days of Anna Madrigal. Pic: PA
The Days of Anna Madrigal. Pic: PA
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FANS of the Tales Of The City series will welcome this new addition that moves the story forward but also reveals more about the past.

It starts with the title character, a transgender landlady, living with her young carer near the Castro district in San Francisco.

Now 92, Anna is thinking about her past - starting as Andy in a whorehouse trailer park and detailing her transformation, her loves and her secrets.

There is a sense of melancholy and foreboding lingering across the story, and the metaphor of the Monarch - migrating butterflies where younger generations finish the migration - represents Anna’s glorious existence being handed on to those generations who follow.

If you haven’t read any of the books in the series don’t start here, go back to the beginning with Tales Of The City.

If you’re an avid reader, you’ll be delighted to catch up on the character’s latest exploits, though you may miss San Francisco being replaced by the new agey Burning Man festival for various parts of the book.

Tales of the City began life as a newspaper serial in 1974. Since then, the series has had a remarkable and influential run. Together, the nine volumes of Tales constitute a cultural touchstone that has enlarged our understanding of the varieties of human behavior.

Focusing largely, on the Bay Area’s gay and lesbian community, the novels struck a universal chord. Now, 40 years after it began, the series ends with The Days of Anna Madrigal.

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin, Doubleday, hardback £18.99, ebook £6.99