Book Review: Logical Family

Logical Family by Armistead Maupin is about finding your logical family, the place where you belong, which is not necessarily with who or where you were born. As Maupin puts it in the book:

“Sooner or later … we must join the diaspora, venturing beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense to us.”

Growing up in North Carolina as a boy who thinks he might be gay to a father who longs for the days of the Confederacy, Maupin has a long journey to find his logical family. We see him struggling with his identity, serving in Vietnam, even working for Jessie Helms in his first job, until he takes a job in San Francisco and finds the place and people that feel like home. The book also offers a very personal inside look to the gay rights movement at the time.

We also see Maupin struggling to become a writer. Of his “big break” which eventually led to publishing what would be the beginning of his best known work, his “Tales of the City” first as a newspaper serial he writes:

“Most of us don’t know when our Moment comes. We don’t feel it at all. It’s just a passing whim, … that leads to one thing and another and you end up with a life you would never have had at all if it had not been for that first thing.”

I am always amazed to learn that famous writers once struggled. Maupin struggled both personally and professionally and the memoir provides a touching portrait of a very human man.


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