Anne Rice, author of Interview With the Vampire, dies aged 80 | Anne Rice

Anne Rice, the best-selling author of Interview with the Vampire, has died aged 80.

The goth novelist’s son, Christopher Rice, said in a statement on Sunday morning that Rice had “passed away due to complications resulting from a stroke”, adding: “The immensity of our family’s grief cannot be overstated.” .

Rice wrote over 30 books, but was best known for her debut novel, Interview with the Vampire, which introduced the world to the saga of the vampire Lestat and moved from 18th century Louisiana to the next 200 years. Published in 1976, it was adapted to the cinema in 1994 with Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst. Audrey Niffenegger described it as Rice’s “masterpiece”.

Rice wrote 12 more novels in the Vampire Chronicles series and dismissed the glossy, vegetarian version of vampires made popular in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, saying she felt “sorry for vampires that twinkle in the sun” and that Lestat “never would”. hurt the immortals who choose to spend eternity going to high school over and over again in a small town.”

Horror legend Ramsey Campbell said Rice wrote “in the great Gothic tradition, both thematically and in his prose.” “I would say it’s a specifically female line that extends from the classic goths but particularly from Mary Shelley, in her humanization of the monster and the way she grants her a perfectly literate voice,” Campbell said.

Best-selling horror author Sarah Pinborough, whose Behind Her Eyes was recently adapted for Netflix, hailed the way Rice transformed the genre. “I’ve had a fascination with vampires since early childhood and when I discovered Rice’s work I absolutely loved how she took this genre and created such a vivid and, more importantly, made them so contemporary and relevant,” she said. noted.

Rice was also known for her series of erotic fiction Sleeping Beauty and for her novels about the life of Christ and about angels, written after she returned to her childhood faith of Catholicism in 1998 after decades of atheism. Rice said at the time that she “dedicated her writing entirely to Christ, vowing to write for or about him.”

But later she “left” Christianity, writing on her Facebook page: “In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be against contraception artificial. I refuse to be anti-democratic. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I left the Christianity and to be a Christian. Amen.”

Rice’s husband, poet Stan Rice, died in 2002. Besides Christopher, the couple had a daughter, Michele, who died of leukemia in 1972 at the age of six. Rice began writing in the years after Michele’s death, telling the Guardian in 2010: “It was really a desperate attempt to be someone. I looked around after my daughter died and realized that I was nothing and nobody. I wasn’t even a mother anymore. I had nothing.

Interview With the Vampire was published in 1976 and Christopher, who is also a writer, was born two years later. He said his mother “taught me to challenge gender boundaries and surrender to my obsessive passions”.

He said: “During his final hours I sat next to his hospital bed, impressed by his accomplishments and courage, flooded with memories of a life that took us from the misty hills of the area from San Francisco Bay to the magical streets of New Orleans to the glittering vistas of Southern California.

“As she kissed Anne goodbye, her younger sister Karen said, ‘What a ride you’ve taken us, kid. I think we can all agree. Take comfort in the shared hope that Anne now experiences firsthand the glorious answers to many great spiritual and cosmic questions, the pursuit of which has defined her life and career.

He said a public celebration of Rice’s life would be held next year in New Orleans, where the author was born and raised.

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