A gay novelist and San Francisco resident, Armistead Maupin rose to fame for his hexalogy Tales of the City, the first parts of which where initially published as a newspaper serial.

Tales of the City is a vivid depiction of San Franciscan life from the late 70s to the mid 80s, spanning classes, sexual orientations, and (trans-)genders in an amusing prose. The lives and careers of the residents of 28 Barbary Lane are tracked, and a lot of humor is drawn from the unexpected crossing of plotlines in unexpected places (such as a lesbian summer camp). This rich tapestry of storytelling with a keen eye on the sexual climate of the era has often been compared to the writings of Honoré de Balzac. Later works in the series also partly deal with the AIDS crisis, which was of course unanticipated when the first volume was written.

Later works by Maupin include The Night Listener.