Anne Rice (born October 4, 1941) is a best-selling American author of horror/fantasy books.
She was born Howard Allen O'Brien, the second daughter in a Catholic Irish-American family. Her works have had a major influence on the "Goth" movement, and she has also published a number of works with sado-masochistic themes. She was married to the late poet Stan Rice and is the mother of novelist Christopher Rice. Her daughter, Michele, was born on September 21, 1966 and died of leukemia on August 5, 1972. Anne's sister, Alice Borchardt, is also a noted genre author.
Rice was born and spent most of her life in New Orleans, Louisiana, the city that forms the background against which most of her stories take place. Known for her avid interest in art and culture, she and her family occasionally took trips overseas to study the art later mentioned in her stories. More recently, following the death of her husband Stan Rice, she has relocated to the Coachella Valley, California area to be nearer her son, Christopher. After spending most of her adult life as a self described atheist, Rice returned to the Roman Catholic Church in 1998, and she is currently working on a trilogy about the life of Jesus.
Rice has also published erotica under the pen names Anne Rampling and A.N. Roquelaure, the latter of which was used primarily for more adult-oriented material. Her fiction is often described as lush and descriptive, and her characters' sexuality is fluid, often displaying homoerotic feelings towards each other. She also deals with philosophical and historic themes, weaving them in to the dense pattern of her books, and giving them a highly intellectual, if not highly literary, content. To her admirers, Rice's books are among the best in modern popular fiction, considered by some to possess those elements that create a lasting presence in the literary canon. To her critics, her novels are baroque, "low-brow pulp" and redundant.
A critical analysis of Rice's work can be found in S. T. Joshi's book The Modern Weird Tale (2001).
Conversion to a Christian Novelist
In October of 2005, Rice announced in a Newsweek article that she would "write only for the Lord". Her first novel in the genre is called Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and is the first in a trilogy that will chronicle the life of Christ.
Interview with the Vampire can also be viewed as an example of psychedelic literature. Rice herself has denied ever having experimented with LSD. "I'm a totally conservative person. In the middle of Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s, I was typing away while everybody was dropping acid and smoking grass. I was known as my own square." (New York Times, Nov 7, 1988) Her potagonist Louis, however, describes a heightened awareness after being transformed into a vampire which does mirror the LSD experience to some extent.
Rice has said that Claudia, the young girl in the book, was inspired by her late daughter.
Rice has Type 1 diabetes. This was discovered when she went into a diabetic coma in December of 1998. She is an advocate for people to get tested for diabetes. Because of a lifelong battle with her weight as well as depression due to the long illness and subsequent death of her husband, Rice's weight ballooned to 254 pounds. Tired of dealing with sleep apnea, limited mobility, and other weight-related problems, she had gastric bypass surgery on January 15, 2003.
On 30 January 2004 Rice announced her plans to leave New Orleans to move the suburb of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. She had already put the largest of her three homes in Uptown New Orleans up for sale, and plans to sell the other two. She cited living alone since the death of her husband and her son's moving out of state as the reasons. "Simplifying my life, not owning so much, that's the chief goal," said Rice. "I'll no longer be a citizen of New Orleans in the true sense." In spring 2005 Anne Rice moved to La Jolla, California. She calls her new home "Paradise West." Some have speculated that Rice also wished for more privacy from the constant attentions of her fans, who were known to camp out in front of her house. Sometimes, up to 200 or more would gather to see her leave for church on Sundays. She is also very adamant about preventing any fan fiction of her books-- on April 7, 2000, she released a statement on her website that prohibited all fanfiction involving her work. This caused the removal of thousands of fanfics from the popular Fanfiction.Net website.
On September 6, 2004, Rice posted a reply to a number of negative reviews that had appeared on Amazon.com regarding Blood Canticle as lazy or shoddy; so when Rice replied by posting a 1,200-word paragraph wherein she proudly dismisses the utility of editors, the incident became fodder for weblogs and Internet sites.