The best-known address in San Francisco doesn’t exist on any postal route but is familiar to readers around the world — especially those in Northern California.

It’s 28 Barbary Lane, the fictitious and funky apartment house situated on Russian Hill. The dwelling was “constructed” by novelist Armistead Maupin in his eight-book “Tales of the City” series. The new entry is “Mary Ann in Autumn.”

In residence at No. 28 was a mixed crew of emotionally laden gay and straight characters searching for personal foundation in a regional culture constantly on the cutting edge of change.

The marijuana-growing transsexual landlady, Anna Madrigal, played den mother to a high-maintenance cast whose names soon became household words in the Bay Area after Maupin began introducing them in 1974. Among them were “drama queen” Mary Ann Singleton and the affable Michael “Mouse” Tolliver, two of the main characters in the new novel.

In former days, the “City” series was controversial because it opened the door to the gay lifestyle — traditionally closed and locked to the straight world. The series has been called “a glittering and addictive comedy of manners (showing) the follies of urban life.”

Whatever the description, the pop culture-centric novels have been translated into 15 languages and have sold more than 6 million copies worldwide.

The first three “Tales” novels were followed by four more — “Babycakes” (1984), “Significant Others” (1987), “Sure of You” (1989) and “Michael Tolliver Lives” (2007).

“Mary Ann in Autumn” resumes the story line 20 years after the title heroine, Mary Ann Singleton, left her husband and child to seek a high-profile career in New York. Now she has returned to San Francisco. High drama and hijinks follow.

“Over the years, so many readers have used the b-word to apply to Mary Ann because she didn’t behave very well in 1989, when she left San Francisco,” Maupin said by phone from his hilltop apartment.

“So I’ve always felt the need to redeem her or at least let people have another look at her. I was fascinated by the idea of my ingenue in her late 50s coping with life and looking back on what’s gone wrong and what’s gone right, and what matters to her. “