Anne Rice, who breathed new life into vampires, dies at 80

NEW YORK (AP) – Anne Rice, the novelist whose lush, gothic stories best-selling, including “Interview With a Vampire,” reinvented blood-drinking immortals into tragic, dead anti-heroes. She was 80.

Rice passed away late Saturday from complications from a stroke, her son, Christopher Rice, announced on her Facebook page and his Twitter page.

“As a writer, she taught me to challenge genre boundaries and surrender to my obsessive passions,” writes Christopher Rice, also an author. “During her final hours, I sat at her bedside in awe of her achievement and courage.”

Rice’s 1976 novel “Interview With the Vampire” was later adapted, with a screenplay, by Rice into a 1994 film directed by Neil Jordan and starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. It is also set will be adapted again in an upcoming drama on AMC and AMC+ will launch next year.

“Interview With the Vampire,” in which reporter Daniel Molloy interviewed Louis de Pointe du Lac, was Rice’s first novel but over the next five decades she would write more than 30 books and sell more than 150 million. worldwide edition. 13 of them were part of “Chronicles of Vampires” that began with her 1976 debut. Long before “Twilight” or “True Blood,” Rice introduced lavish romance, female sexuality, and weirdness — many viewed “Interview With the Vampire” as a gay allegory. – belongs to the supernatural genre.

Rice wrote in her 2008 memoir “Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession”. “This has become a major theme in my novels – how one suffers from being abandoned, how one is removed from different levels of meaning and, finally, from politics. human life.”

Howard Allen Frances O’Brien was born in 1941, she grew up in New Orleans, where many of her novels are located. Her father worked for the postal service but worked as a sculptor and wrote novels. Her older sister, Alice Borchardt, also writes fantasy and horror novels. Rice’s mother died when Rice was 15 years old.

Raised in an Irish Catholic family, Rice initially imagined herself becoming a priest (before she realized that women were not allowed) or a nun. Rice often writes about her tumultuous spiritual journey. In 2010, she announced that she was no longer a Christian, saying, “I refuse to be against homosexuals. I refuse to be against feminism. I refuse to be against artificial contraception.”

“I have long believed that differences, quarrels between Christians are not personally important, that you should live your life and stay away from it. But then I started to realize that it wasn’t an easy thing to do,” Rice told the Associated Press afterward. “I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t declare this, I would lose my mind.”

Rice married poet Stan Rice, who died in 2002, in 1961. They lived amidst the bohemian scene of Haight-Ashbury in 1960s San Francisco, where Rice described herself as “a square”, hitting machine and learned to write at San Francisco State University while others were partying. They had two children together: Christopher and Michelle, who died of leukemia at the age of 5 in 1972.

While grieving Michelle’s death, Rice wrote “Interview with the Vampire,” which turned one of her short stories into a book. Rice derives her fascination with vampires from the 1934 film, “Dracula’s Daughter,” which she watched as a young girl.

“I never forgot that movie,” Rice told the Daily Beast in 2016. “That’s always been my impression of vampires: earthlings with high sensibilities and an appreciation for life.”

Although Rice struggled to publish it at first, “Interview With a Vampire” was a huge success, especially in paperback form. She did not expand the story immediately, following it with a pair of historical novels and three erotic novels written under the pseudonym AN Roquelaure. But in 1985, she published “The Vampire Lestat”, about the character “Interview With a Vampire” to which she would return repeatedly, until “Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat” in 2018.

In Rice’s “Chronicles of the Vampire,” some critics found only cheap eroticism. But others – including millions of readers – have seen the most consequential interpretation of vampires since Bram Stoker.

“Let me suggest one reason why books find such a large audience. They were written by someone whose auditory and visual experience shaped prose,” Rice writes in her memoirs. “I am a terrible reader. But my mind is flooded with these auditory and visual lessons, and aided by them, I can write about five times faster than I can read.”

Rice’s longtime editor, Victoria Wilson, called her “an intense storyteller who wrote vast worlds, lived quietly, and imagined on a grand scale.”

“She summoned emotions from a time long before we knew what they were,” Wilson said in a statement. “As a writer, she was decades ahead of her time.”

The rice will be given out in a private ceremony at a family mausoleum in New Orleans, her family said. A public celebration is also planned for next year in New Orleans. “Ramses the Damned: The Reign of Osiris,” the novel that Rice wrote with her son Christopher, will be published in February. Anne Rice, who breathed new life into vampires, dies at 80

Dais Johnston

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