Sunday, June 3, 2007
Of men and vampires
Anne Rice (born October 4, 1941) is a best-selling American author of gothic and later religious themed books. Best known for her "Vampire Chronicles," her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history. Rice and her husband had a daughter Michele, who was born on September 21, 1966 and died of leukemia on August 5, 1972. Their son Christopher Rice, now a novelist, was born March 11, 1978.
She completed her first book, "Interview with the Vampire," in 1973 and published it in 1976. This book would be the first in Rice's popular "Vampire Chronicles" series, which includes 1985's "The Vampire Lestat" and 1988's "The Queen of the Damned". Rice has also published adult-oriented fiction under the pen name Anne Rampling, and has written explicit sado-masochistic erotica as A.N. Roquelaure.
Her fiction is often described as lush and descriptive, and her characters' sexuality is fluid, often displaying homoerotic feelings towards each other. Rice said that the bisexuality was what she was looking for in her characters; a love beyond gender especially with the "Vampire Chronicles" because the vampires where not of human society, therefore did not go by the expectations of that society. She also weaves philosophical and historic themes into the dense pattern of her books. To her admirers, Rice's books are among the best in modern popular fiction, possessing those elements that create a lasting presence in the literary canon. To her critics, her novels are baroque, "low-brow pulp" and redundant.