Mary Ann in Autumn

Posted in Book Reports, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on September 16, 2021

There is a moment near the end of Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of the City Novel. Michael is talking to his much-younger husband, Ben. Tangerines are involved. Michael says something about a song “from the sixties.” Claudine Longet sings “Would you like some of my tangerine? I know I’ll never treat you mean.” Claudine Georgette Longet is alive in 2021.

Flashback to the summer of 1973. Sopwith Camel is opening for Rory Gallagher at Richards. They play the closest thing they had to a hit, “Hello Hello.” “Would you like some of my tangerine? I know I’ll never treat you mean.” Somebody in the audience liked that song, and offered them a great deal of money to play it again. “Would you like some of my tangerine? I know I’ll never treat you mean.” SC wound up playing “Hello Hello” five times that night.

TOTC books are known for their unlikely plot twists. They are fun books, but not to be taken literaly. MAIA is no different. Mary Ann has unterine cancer, and just caught the husband screwing the life coach. She flies to San Francisco, and stays with Michael and Ben. A couple of long time lady-friends hook her up with an amazing gynecologist, who gets her to surgery in under two weeks. There are a few more subplots, which come together in a *bangup* finale. Check your critical thinking at the door, and you will be just fine.

Armistead Maupin writes about San Francisco, with a sharp eye for detail. One character is a dog park. Another is the homeless population. A third is the lifestyle blogger, which is obsolete just a dozen years later. (MAIA is set in 2008, which already seems like another century.) Somehow, these scenes marinate one another, producing a head-exploding finish. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.”

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