Perhaps the ultimate queen
of gothic authors, Anne Rice is the writer behind Interview with
the Vampire, featuring some of the most famous vampires of all
time: Lestat, Louis and Armand.
Anne Rice was born in 1941 in News Orleans, US, which also serves
as the setting for many of her books. Interview with the Vampire,
written in 1973 and published in 1976, was her debut novel, and
it would take until 1985 for the follow up – The Vampire
Lestat (or I, Lestat) to hit the bookshelves. In 1988, The Queen
of the Damned, the third in the series was published, completing
the trilogy. Her debut novel quickly made Anne Rice a big name
on the scene, and the following books reinforced her reputation
as the vampire novel genre’s biggest celebrity.
What set these books apart from others was that while lots of
horror- and vampire books feature monstrous beings, old-school
takes on vampires and gallons of blood, Rice’s books focussed
on the emotions and relations between vampires, with strong subtexts
about love and loss, especially in the debut Interview with the
Vampire. These timeless ideas helped the 1991 movie, starring
Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and an unforgettable Tom Cruise as
Lestat, to become a major hit and to still be a really good movie
– it doesn’t feel much dated at all.
Since then, Anne Rice has gone on to write some twenty-odd books
that deal with all kinds of themes, including witches, racism,
opera, mummies and, lately, religion. The Vampire Chronicles that
started with Interview with the Vampire includes ten novels, but
she has written other vampire books as well, such as Pandora (1998)
and Vittorio the Vampire (1999).
In recent years Anne Rice has turned her attention to religion,
having returned to Catholicism after many years as a self-proclaimed
atheist, and as of 2010, she is working on a chronicle of the
life of Jesus.
If you haven’t read her vampire novels, take yourself time
to read Interview with the Vampire and the two next books in her
The Vampire Chronicles – it’s well worth it.