Happy birthday Anne Rice!

Anne Rice in 2006
Anne Rice in 2006

Frances Howard Allen O’Brien, this is her real name, was born on October 4, 1941 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She decided to be called Anne on her first day of school.

Anne Rice’s family moved to Texas when, after the death of her mother, her father remarried. It was in high school that she met Stan Rice, her future husband.

Anne Rice spent a year at Texas Woman’s University in Denton and later she transferred to North Texas State College but she had to abandon college for lack of money and later attended evening classes at the University of San Francisco.

On October 14, 1961, Anne Rice married Stan Rice. In 1964 she graduated in Political Science and in 1972 Creative Writing. Her daughter Michele was born on September 21, 1966, sadly she died from leukemia on August 5, 1972.

Anne Rice had published some short stories over the years and among those there was “Interview with the Vampire”, which was turned into the novel with the same title. This novel was rejected by several publishers and was published only in 1976.

In 1978 her son Christopher was born and in the following years Anne Rice wrote a few historical novels and several erotic novels under the pseudonyms A.N. Roquelaure and Anne Rampling.

In 1988 Anne Rice and her husband bought a house in New Orleans, where they decided to move permanently. Anne Rice started writing the Chronicles of the Vampires, a series of novels that had an enormous success. The novels of the Mayfair Witches are connected to those chronichles.

In 1998 Anne Rice started having serious health problems and was diagnosed with a form of diabetes. The following big crisis, accentuated by her husband’s death in 2002, led her first to embrace the Catholic religion and over the years to modify her positions devoting herself to writing historical-religious novels. She also moved to California while staying close to New Orleans, especially after the tragic events of Hurricane Katrina.

In recent months, Anne Rice stated that she left Christianity because of its intolerant views stating: “In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. 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 quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”. She keeps on declaring herself a follower of Jesus Christ but outside organized religion.

Anne Rice had an extraordinary success with her horror novels, also with the film adapted from “Interview with the Vampire” in 1994. In 2002 another film was adapted from the novel “The Queen of the Damned” but the story was changed so much that it was heavily criticized. The New Orleans that Anne Rice knew so well is often the center of her novels and the fantastic universe she created with its many supernatural creatures.

Given the recent difficult years we can’t know Anne Rice future but even if she claimed to have given up writing the horror stories that made her known around the world she’ll remain in the history of this genre.

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