“Sooner or later, though, no matter where in the world we live, we must join the diaspora, venturing beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense for us.”

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The LGBTQ Book club met on January 29 to discuss Logical Family , Armistead Maupin’s memoir contrasting his conservative upbringing in South Carolina  (working at Jesse Helm’s television station, meeting Nixon as a Vietnam veteran) to his life in San Francisco (writing a long-running serial in the Chronicle, hobnobbing with stars). Indeed, the title is a play on words, between one’s biological family and the people you gather around you as your logical family.

Two thirds of us had read Maupin’s Tales of the City series are were excited to glimpse behind the curtain. The memoir is an appealing, easy read. On the one hand, Maupin honestly reveals the difficulties he had with his strict, conservative father, whose love he craved, and he is not afraid to drop the names of celebrities in his life. We were surprised to learn he was the last sailor out of Cambodia and he defends his choice to out Rock Hudson. However, we wondered if Maupin is a reliable narrator because we were left with questions like, how did he actually meet these famous people and who are the actual members in his logical family? In the end, the book, a surface look at Maupin’s life with a good throughline, was a nice visit with an old friend.

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About JMRL Central Reference

Librarians in the reference department at the Central Library of JMRL.

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