Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin


Author: Armistead Maupin

Title: Michael Tolliver Lives

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 277

Geographical Setting: San Francisco, California

Time Period: Present Day


Plot Summary: Michael Tolliver is a character from earlier works, Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, and Further Tales of the City. He is an HIV positive gay man living with his husband Ben in San Francisco (their marriage is no longer legal). He is older now, and has lost friends and lovers to AIDS. He has come close to dying himself. He owns a landscaping business and interacts with both straight and gay people. His mother is dying and Michael is who she turns to in the end (although up to this point she has been completely disapproving of Michael’s life, as she is firmly rooted in Christianity).


Subject Headings: Gay men—San Francisco, California—Fiction; Middle-aged gay men—Fiction; HIV positive men—Fiction; Gay couples—California—Fiction; Young men—relationships with older men—Fiction; Gay communities—San Francisco, California—Fiction; Gay culture—San Francisco, California—Fiction; Gay fathers—Family relationships—Fiction; Sexuality—Social aspects—Fiction.


Appeal: engrossing, relaxed, engaging, evocative, lifelike, realistic, recognizable, series, sympathetic, vivid, character-centered, domestic, family-centered, issue-oriented, layered, resolved ending, sexually explicit, steamy, strong language, thought-provoking, contemporary, details of gay culture, bittersweet, candid, humorous, introspective, thoughtful, accessible, colorful, direct, frank.


Similar Fiction Authors and Works: Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger, engaging, humorous, character-centered, issue-oriented.

Half-Life by Aaron Krach, character-centered, issue-oriented, humorous, thought-provoking.

A Seahorse Year by Stacey D’Erasmo, character-centered, issue-oriented, thought-provoking.


Relevant Non-Fiction Authors and Works: Wild Animals I Have Known: Polk Street Diaries and After by Kevin Bentley.  Kevin Bentley writes about his experiences as a gay man in San Francisco in the 1970’s.

Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965 by Nan Boyd, a Women’s Studies professor chronicles the history of gay culture in San Francisco up to 1965.

The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family by Dan Savage. Dan Savage talks about marriage and how it affects the gay community, especially how it affects him personally as he explores marriage for himself as a gay man.



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