''Tales Of The City'' is the first book in a series of nine novels by Armistead Maupin, the first three of which have been turned into TV mini-series staring Creator/OlympiaDukakis and Creator/LauraLinney. Follows the lives and loves of the residents of an apartment block in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco.

The books largely unfold in real-time in relation to their publication, and the eighteen-year hiatus between books six and seven is incorporated into the story. While each book works as a stand-alone story, they follow on from each other (and occasionally foreshadow events later in the series), meaning that they are best read in publication order. Titles in the series are:
* ''Tales of the City'' (1978)
* ''More Tales of the City'' (1980)
* ''Further Tales of the City'' (1982)
* ''Babycakes'' (1984)
* ''Significant Others'' (1987)
* ''Sure of You'' (1989)
* ''Michael Tolliver Lives'' (2007)
* ''Mary Ann in Autumn'' (2010)
* ''The Days of Anna Madrigal'' (2014)

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!!Includes examples of:
* ADayInTheLimelight: ''Michael Tolliver Lives'' and ''The Days of Anna Madrigal'' still feature ensemble casts, but focus on their title characters' stories more closely than earlier novels, which tended to run multiple story lines.
** {{Averted}} to an extent by ''Mary Ann in Autumn'', partly because Mary Ann was always the nominal protagonist of the first six books anyway, partly because her return to San Francisco sparks multiple stories that don't always directly involve her (more like the first six novels, in other words).
* AmbiguouslyGay: Father Paddy. It's never actually stated that he's gay, but he fits a lot of the CampGay stereotypes.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler:Beauchamp Day]], who dies in an accident after [[spoiler:putting a hit out on his wife's unborn twins]].
* AtTheOperaTonight
* AwesomeMcCoolName: D'orothea, a.k.a. [[spoiler:Dorothy Wilson]].
* AxeCrazy: Mona's mother in "More Tales of the City"
** And Luke in "Further Tales of the City", which is fitting given that he's actually [[spoiler: Jim Jones]].
* BiTheWay: [[spoiler: Mona]].
* CliffHanger: In the best tradition of the SerialNovel.
* ComingOutStory: Michael's letter to his parents coming out of the closet, which has been turned into a fairly popular song for gay men's choirs.
* CoolOldLady: Anna Madrigal; not strictly "old", but significantly older than most of the other protagonists, and definitely written this way.
** Her mother [[spoiler: Mother Mucca]] is both old and cool.
* DeadGuyJunior: [=DeDe=] names her son Edgar, after her late father.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: [[spoiler:Mrs Day]] has no problem with her daughter giving an interview in which she discusses being raped, but asks her not to make any mention of her consensual and loving five-year relationship with another woman, considering the subject of lesbianism too shocking even for a candid piece. Leads to a rather satisfying scene with [[spoiler:[=DeDe=]]] CallingTheOldManOut.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The third book includes kidnapping, gay-bashing, and rabbit-skinning.
* DepravedBisexual: Beauchamp Day didn't kill anyone (that we know of), but he's utterly narcissistic and amoral, and the only person in the first book or miniseries (and the only male in either of them) who seems equally interested in men and women. As long as they're not his wife.
* {{Expy}}: In the miniseries version of ''Further'', Cage Tyler is this for Rock Hudson. In the book, he was a SpellMyNameWithABlank.
* HappilyAdopted: Shawna.
* HawaiianShirtedTourist: Arnold and Melva on the cruise to Acapulco.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: [[spoiler: Jim Jones]] in ''Further''.
** Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in ''Babycakes''. Princess Diana is also talked about a lot, but the one time she appears turns out to have been a RedHerring case of mistaken identity.
* HistoricalInJoke: "I don't even know where Jonestown is!"
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Mst of the girls at the Blue Moon Lodge, especially Bobbi. Mother Mucca is a madam with a heart of gold.
* JerkAss: Beauchamp Day, in spades.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Mother Mucca is rather prickly (and swears like a sailor), but is overall a nice lady.
* LastRequest: Edgar Halcyon Day discovers that his daughter [=DeDe=] is pregnant just as he's lying on his death bed. [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming He dies happy after getting her to promise that if the baby is a girl she'll name her Anna, after Mrs Madrigal. She does - and also names Anna's twin brother Edgar.]]
* LawOfInverseFertility: Played with on a number of occasions:
** Played straight with [[spoiler:[=DeDe=]]] in ''Tales'', who gets pregnant during a just-for-fun quickie with the boy delivering her groceries. The pregnancy is definitely unplanned and initially unwanted, especially since the fact that she and her husband are both white and the father is Chinese forces her to admit to the affair.
** Played straight again with [[spoiler:Mary Ann and Brian]] in ''Babycakes'' - one of the main plots of that book is their ongoing mission to conceive a child, despite [[spoiler:Brian's]] infertility.
** {{Averted}} with Connie Bradshaw in ''Babycakes'', who - in an interesting take on the trope - deliberately gets pregnant from a one-night stand, after deciding she actively wants to be a single mother.
* LoveInterest: Several notable ones outside of the main cast, including [[spoiler:Jon]] for Michael and [[spoiler:Edgar Halcyon Day]] for Mrs Madrigal.
* NoBisexuals: Played with:
** Averted with [[spoiler:Mona]], who is openly bisexual.
*** Though she flirts with ButNotTooBi: ''Tales'' and ''Babycakes'' both show her dating women while only having casual flings with men, but exactly the opposite is true in ''Further'' (it's even {{Lampshaded}} that she's [[SuddenlySexuality suddenly realised]] she can only be emotionally intimate with men and that her interest in women is almost purely sexual, even though her behaviour up to that point had indicated the exact opposite). Likely deliberate, as her whole character is ''extremely'' flaky.
** Played with in the case of [[spoiler:Beauchamp]], who has extra-marital affairs with both men and women, but the "B" word is never used. [[note]]Although considering his indifference towards his wife and his inability to perform sexually the one time he's shown with a female lover, it's possible that he's actually mainly or only into men, but would rather not be seen as exclusively gay.[[/note]]
** Played oddly straight with [[spoiler:[=DeDe=]]], who goes from an opposite-sex marriage, plus affairs with men that she obviously enjoys, to identifying solely as a lesbian the first time she falls for a woman, with nothing in-between; this is perhaps the only case in the franchise where this trope is played entirely straight.
* OneSteveLimit: {{Averted}} in ''Babycakes'' - Michael chats to a waiter at a gay cafe, whose name also turns out to be Michael. They {{Lampshade}} the fact that "it feels like half the gay guys in the world are called Michael", and the waiter is referred to as "the other Michael" throughout the scene to differentiate.
** Also, [=DeDe=]'s twins Edgar and Anna are named after two other characters in the series - Mr Halcyon (her father) and Mrs Madrigal - making this trope sort of unavoidable in their case. Anna is often referred to as "little Anna" to differentiate. [[spoiler:Edgar is DeadGuyJunior, avoiding the problem of telling the two apart, since he's born after his grandfather's death.]]
* RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler:[=DeDe=]]] is raped by [[spoiler:Jim Jones]]. The rape occurs off-page, but is recounted in an interview.
** Ironically, the same character deliberately invoked this trope in an earlier book, falsely claiming to have been raped (by someone with whom she was actually having a consensual affair in which ''she'' was the seducer) just so she wouldn't be left out of her Club's talk on sexual assault.
* RedHerring: In a world of high coincidence, a few plot points are teased just enough that the GenreSavvy reader will think they've figured out the next twist, only for the story to take another direction entirely.
** A classic example: in ''Babycakes'', [[spoiler:Mary Ann has discovered that Brian is infertile without his knowledge, but knowing he desperately wants a child, plots to get pregnant by Simon, an attractive neighbour who closely resembles Brian, in the hopes that Brian will never have to know of his infertility. However, Simon's birth mother (the nanny who raised him, unbeknownst to Simon himself) has dwarfism, and notes to another character that it skips a generation. So of course Brian's infertility, Simon's mother's identity and Mary Ann's adultery will all come out when Mary Ann's baby has dwarfism too, right? Wrong - after sleeping with Mary Ann, Simon reveals he's had a vasectomy, and while Brian ''does'' find out that they slept together and that he's infertile, he and Mary Ann end up reconciling and adopting a baby girl.]]
* TheReveal: Lots and lots and lots.
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler:Jon]], who contracts HIV and dies of AIDS off-page between ''Further'' and ''Babycakes'', after playing a major supporting role in every prior book.
* SerialNovel: Originally published as a serial in the San Francisco Chronicle.
* ShipperOnDeck: Mrs. Madrigal takes great delight in pairing off her "children".
* ShoutOut: The first novel has numerous references to Alfred Hitchcock and especially ''Film/{{Vertigo}}'', but the miniseries takes it to a whole new level, including a pastiche score.
* SignificantAnagram: Anna Madrigal aka [[spoiler: "A Man and a Girl"]].
* StrawFeminist: Mona can come across this way on occasion.
* SpellMyNameWithABlank: In ''Further'', the movie star's name is constantly blanked out. It's commonly believed that he is Rock Hudson, who was still in the closet at the time that ''Further'' was published.
* SpoiledSweet: [=DeDe=]. By [[spoiler: the end of the second book, [=DeDe=] is able to stand above the gossip and controversy that the people in the upper class live for. She also makes the conscious decision to keep her kids, despite Beauchamp's protests]].
* SuddenlySexuality: [[spoiler:[=DeDe=]]] goes from identifying as 100% straight to 100% gay after hooking up with [[spoiler:D'or]].
** [[spoiler:Mona]] manages to pull this off several times despite being BiTheWay, since she constantly flip-flops between revelations that she only "truly" wants relationships with either one gender or the other, despite actually being attracted to both.
* TooDumbToLive: Prue Giroux. Most women would probably run far away from a guy who skins rabbits and steals children. Prue actually buys into his bullshit explanations.
* [[spoiler: {{Transsexual}}]]: [[spoiler: Anna Madrigal's original name was Andy Ramsey]]
* TraumaCongaLine: Poor, poor [=DeDe=]. [[spoiler:Sure, she starts out as spoiled and manipulative, but she has to contend with her husband's total indifference towards her; her beloved father's sudden illness and death; an accidental (and initially unwanted) pregnancy; her husband ''putting a hit out'' on her unborn babies; her husband's death in a freak accident; being caught up in Jonestown and barely escaping the massacre; being raped by a psychopath; being arrested in Cuba for homosexuality and forced to flee with her children as a refugee to the States; having her girlfriend choose to stay in Cuba and deny their relationship; and having her children kidnapped by the man who raped her]]. It's amazing that, throughout all this, she actually becomes a much ''better'' person than she started out.
* TwoferTokenMinority: In ''Tales'' the black lesbian model D'orothea is the only non-white LGBT character. [[spoiler:Until it's revealed that she's actually white.]]
* VacationEpisode: Two books of the nine are set primarily outside of San Francisco: ''Michael Tolliver Lives'' in Florida, ''The Days of Anna Madrigal'' in Arizona (at the Burning Man festival, to be precise). In both cases, the character in question is re-visiting their childhood home rather than vacationing, but the change in setting fits the trope exactly.
* WhamLine: Given the amount of reveals and plot twists, there are a ton of these.