In celebration of the 40th anniversary of its publication
The time is now.
We are in a small room with the vampire, face to face, as he speaks--as he pours out the hypnotic, shocking, moving, and erotically charged confessions of his first two hundred years as one of the living dead. . .
He speaks quietly, plainly, even gently . . . carrying us back to the night when he departed human existence as heir--young, romantic, cultivated--to a great Louisiana plantation, and was inducted by the radiant and sinister Lestat into the other, the "endless," life . . . learning first to sustain himself on the blood of cocks and rats caught in the raffish streets of New Orleans, then on the blood of human beings . . . to the years when, moving away from his final human ties under the tutelage of the hated yet necessary Lestat, he gradually embraces the habits, hungers, feelings of vampirism: the detachment, the hardened will, the "superior" sensual pleasures.
He carries us back to the crucial moment in a dark New Orleans street when he finds the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her, struggling against the last residue of human feeling within him . . .
We see how Claudia in turn is made a vampire--all her passion and intelligence trapped forever in the body of a small child--and how they arrive at their passionate and dangerous alliance, their French Quarter life of opulence: delicate Grecian statues, Chinese vases, crystal chandeliers, a butler, a maid, a stone nymph in the hidden garden court . . . night curving into night with their vampire senses heightened to the beauty of the world, thirsting for the beauty of death--a constant stream of vulnerable strangers awaiting them below . . .
We see them joined against the envious, dangerous Lestat, embarking on a perilous search across Europe for others like themselves, desperate to discover the world they belong to, the ways of survival, to know what they are and why, where they came from, what their future can be . . .
We follow them across Austria and Transylvania, encountering their kind in forms beyond their wildest imagining . . . to Paris, where footsteps behind them, in exact rhythm with their own, steer them to the doors of the Théâtre des Vampires--the beautiful, lewd, and febrile mime theatre whose posters of penny-dreadful vampires at once mask and reveal the horror within . . . to their meeting with the eerily magnetic Armand, who brings them, at last, into intimacy with a whole brilliant and decadent society of vampires, an intimacy that becomes sudden terror when they are compelled to confront what they have feared and fled . . .
In its unceasing flow of spellbinding storytelling, of danger and flight, of loyalty and treachery, Interview with the Vampire bears witness of a literary imagination of the first order.
It seems pretty ironic for an author to change from Gothic fiction, erotica, then to Christian literature, but American author, Anne Rice did just that. She was born Howard Allen Frances O'Brian in 1941 in New Orleans. Somehow, being born in New Orleans seems fitting for an author most famous for her popular series of novels entitled, The Vampire Chronicles.
Rice was raised in a Catholic family, but chose to be an agnostic as a young adult. She was very successful coming right out with her first novel......Interview with the Vampire. With that success, she began writing sequels to that novel in the 1980's. In the mid- 2000's, she returned to Catholicism and published novels that were fiction about some happenings in the life of Jesus. She distanced herself several years later from organized religion, siting disagreement with their position on social issues, but vowed her lasting faith in God.
Rice's books have sold over 100 million copies......thus, her immense popularity as an American author. She was married to her husband, Stan Rice, for 41 years until he passed from brain cancer in 2002. They had two children, one who died of leukemia at fie years old, and a son Christopher, who is also an author. Several of her novels have been adapted to film. Many ask about her strange given name...... Howard Allen Frances O'Brien. She answers with......her father's name was Howard, and her mother thought that giving her a man's name would give her advantages in the world as she grew up. On her first day of Catholic School, when the Nun asked her name, she just said Anne because she thought it was a pretty name. The name has served her well.