Prolific Gothic novelist Anne Rice noted for bestselling book and film Interview with the Vampire – obituary
In fact, she took her job very seriously, once claiming that her vampire stories should be in “backpacks on the Berkeley campus with Castaneda and Tolstoy.” Certainly, the traditional vampiric accessories – squeaky coffin lids, garlic cloves, and stakes running through the heart – were largely absent.
Instead, his novels were distinguished by the interest of their characters in the metaphysical questions of good and evil, of life and death. Vampires, she told The Independent in 2014, “are the best metaphor for the human condition.”
Anne Rice had been raised as a devout Catholic, but lost her faith as a teenager, later admitting that the themes of her vampire novels reflected, in part, the guilt she felt over her apostasy. “The books were about a lot of groping in the dark,” she told The Telegraph’s Mick Brown in 2012, “but they were also steeped in… Catholic guilt.”
In 1998, she shocked her fans with a very public return to the Church, equated by one evangelical leader as “a story of conversion to live up to Augustine”.
Committing from then on to “devote her work to God and to Christ”, she devoted herself to the writing of two novels in the first person – Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt (2005), on the childhood of Jesus, Followed by Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana (2008). In Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession (2008), she told the story of her own conversion.
But two years later, in another startling about-face, Anne Rice told her 550,000 Facebook followers that she had “ceased to be a Christian”, claiming that it was “just impossible for me to to belong to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputed “. , and a deservedly infamous group.
“In the name of Christ,” she continued, “I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be an artificial contraceptive. I refuse to be anti-democratic. I refuse to be an anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life.