We devoured the book and the sequels–just as Lestat and his vampire friends devoured human blood. So like others who never considered how sexy fanged incisors could be before reading Interview With the Vampire, we are sad to hear about author Anne Rice’s passing this weekend at age 80.
“The immensity of our family’s grief cannot be overstated,” said her son Christopher, announcing her death on Twitter. “In her final hours, I sat beside her hospital bed in awe of her accomplishments and her courage, awash in memories of a life that took us from the fog laced hills of the San Francisco Bay Area to the magical streets of New Orleans to the twinkling vistas of Southern California. As she kissed Anne goodbye, her younger sister Karen said, `What a ride you took us on, kid.’ I think we can all agree.”
Chronicling the Vampires
It’s hard to believe that Interview With the Vampire, which was released in 1976, was Rice’s debut novel. It caused such a sensation at the time; we can still remember the glorious sense of incredulity we felt as we made our way through her imagined world. Who thinks like this? How does someone come up with such details?
The film based on the book stood out for its astonishing A-list cast. Young Tom Cruise and young Brad Pitt took lead roles in the 1997 production, and has there ever been so much male beauty on the screen at once?
In a 1993 interview with ABC, Rice said part of her fascination with vampires as a literary device was that they could be seen as a metaphor for the human condition. “Because,” as she put it, “all of us make ruthless compromises in order to live, don’t you think?”
Back to the Big Easy
The Gothic setting of her childhood seemed to have fueled her imagination.
Rice grew up mostly in New Orleans, which featured prominently in The Vampire Chronicles. The Gothic setting of her childhood seemed to have fueled her imagination. She’ll be put to rest in the city as well, interred in her family’s mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery in a private ceremony. The family plans a celebration of her life next year in New Orleans that will be open to the public.
“Let us take comfort in the shared hope that Anne is now experiencing firsthand the glorious answers to many great spiritual and cosmic questions,” her son said, “the quest for which defined her life and career.”