Armistead Maupin--former news writer for Jesse Helms, best-selling novelist, gay rights activist and Raleigh native--returns next week to his hometown to read from his first novel in eight years, The Night Listener. While the author himself has all the delicious contradictions of a great fictional character, his biography could only pale in comparison to the myriad stories he has spun from it, many of them captured in the six-volume series Tales of the City. The new Night Listener takes readers into the life of Gabriel Noone, a radio storyteller who receives in the mail the unpublished memoir of an abused and ailing 13-year-old boy. To learn more, stop by Quail Ridge Books on Nov 14 at 7:30 p.m., where Maupin himself will discuss the novel. For details, call 828-1588.