American author, Armistead Maupin has been announced as the winner of the Big Gay Read, making him the gay community’s favourite novelist.

Mr Maupin, the world’s best selling gay writer, was chosen for his novel, Tales of the City, as part of the Queer Up North festival in Manchester.

He beat Sarah Waters’ novel Tipping The Velvet which took second place and Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain, which came seventh, in the poll voted by members of the public.

“It’s wonderful to know that the joy and fulfilment I’ve found as a gay man has somehow contributed to the joy and fulfilment of others. Books have a lovely way of passing from hand to hand, so I’m especially grateful to all the British readers, gay, straight and otherwise, who have shared their ‘Tales’ so promiscuously over the years,” he said.

The former Vietnam War officer will receive his award at the gay festival next week.