Anne Rice: “Interview with the Vampire” made her the queen of the underworld

Anne Rice. Design from photographs: Jesús Avilés/Infobae.

If the books of stephenie meyer marked an entire generation of adolescents at the beginning of the 2010s, those of Anne Rice They took over an entire era. The 80s were the ideal setting for endless events that have transcended history, in relation to pop culture; among them, the publication of several of the books that make up the “The Vampire Diariesthe famous series by the American author.

The first installment of the series is the famous “interview with the vampire, which was published in 1976. The novel tells the story of Louis de Pointe du Lac, a young man from New Orleans who, tormented by a feeling of guilt over the death of his younger brother, becomes an eternal inhabitant of the night, after meeting Lestat de Lioncourt. Together they set out on an endless life that lasts more than 100 years. But from the beginning of this, Louis’s most human feelings come his way, especially love, and this condemns him.

In Spanish, the current edition of the book circulates under the seal B de Pocket, of the publishing group Penguin Random House. Over the years, it has become a classic of the genre and is possibly the most original vampire story ever written.

book cover "Interview with the vampire.  Vampire Chronicles I, by Anne Rice.  Courtesy: Penguin Random House.
Cover of the book “Interview with the Vampire. The Vampire Chronicles I, by Anne Rice. Courtesy: Penguin Random House.

His film adaptation, released in 1994, allowed him to gain even more fame. The film was directed by Neil Jordan and featured Rice herself writing the script. It starred Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Stephen Rea, Christian Slater, and Kirsten Dunst. It was the first time vampires had turned into sex symbolsand hence the precedent that comes to touch those who have played these beings of the night on the big screen and in series such as the popular ‘Vampire Diaries‘, which is also based on a series of books, but not by Rice, but by L. J. Smith.

With this delivery, therefore, began the success of Anne Rice, who became one of the most iconic authors of her time. It was, and still is, one of the most read worldwide. The Vampire Diaries It is made up of 13 books, all published between 1976 and 2018. Along the way, the author published around 28 titles, including a novel, a story and a memoir.

Anne Rice was born on October 4, 1941, in New Orleans, into a Catholic family of Irish origin. She in her adulthood she would become a Christian. Her real name was Howard Allen Frances O’Brien, and she was the second of five sisters. The oldest of the five Alice BorchardtShe was also a writer. She was born two days after her, but in 1939.

In 1958, after his father was widowed and remarried, the family moved to Texas. There, the young aspiring writer met the poet and painter Stan Rice, whom he married in 1961. A year later, they settled in California and had two children there. The girl, Michele, who arrived in 1966, died at the age of five due to leukemia. That episode was crucial for the Rices and they were unable to fully recover. Some critics point out that there would be the germ of the works of Anne, who she saw in death and existentialism her great themes. In 1978 she was born Christopher Ricewho over the years would follow his mother’s trade as a writer, although not with the same success.

As a writer, Rice would publish some of her stories under the pseudonyms Anne Rampling and AN Roquelaure.. His early texts explored themes like horror and lust, and several of his characters had homoerotic sentiments. Under these pseudonyms he released the books that make up his Tetralogy of Sleeping Beautybut it wasn’t until she graduated from the creative writing program at San Francisco State University that she dared to use the name Anne Rice, with the first installment of The Vampire Diaries.

By 1998, Rice was already a recognized writer with an extensive literary output. In that year, she fell into a coma, after being diagnosed with diabetes. After overcoming the episode, she had to follow a treatment with insulin that accompanied her for a good part of her life.

Fully dedicated to writing and in the company of her husband and son, the writer saw how fame took over her days. The audiovisual adaptations of her books and the boom of vampire novels, allowed him to gain more and more notoriety. Suddenly, the royalties that came from his books exceeded what was imagined. He is part of that reduced, but acclaimed, list of writers whose books are sold by the lot around the world. Perhaps, along with names like Stephen King, JK Rowling or Gabriel García Márquez, his work is one of the most widely read across the globe, after the Bible.

The writer Anne Rice was one of the most widely read at the time.  (Getty Images)
The writer Anne Rice was one of the most widely read at the time. (Getty Images)

After forty-one years of relationship, Stan Rice, who had turned 60 a month earlier, died of brain cancer on December 9, 2002. His death caused the writer a deep depression and her battle against being overweight it became more complex. She weighed around 115 kilos. Overwhelmed by all this, in January 2003 she underwent gastric bypass surgery and a year later, she walked away from it all. She was exhausted by the fame and the absence of her husband. Her fans would camp out for months on end outside her house. In the Louisiana suburb of Jefferson Parish, she found the peace of mind she needed.

Rice continued to write throughout his life. Her last book was published in 2018. She was planning to work on a new work, when she suddenly died, on December 11, 2021, just two days after remembering the death of her husband, 19 years ago. .

Anne Rice at her home in Palm Desert (California) in 2015. EFE/ARMANDO ARORIZO/File
Anne Rice at her home in Palm Desert (California) in 2015. EFE/ARMANDO ARORIZO/File

In 2022, the American writer would have turned 81 and would surely be in charge of the new adaptation of interview with the vampire, which was launched in series format with AMC production. The success has been such that a second season has already been confirmed, under the baton of Mark Johnson (‘Breaking Bad’Better Call Saul’), and with Jacob Anderson Y Sam Reid as protagonists.

The work of Anne Rice, beyond its commercial success, finds its importance in the fact that, despite criticism, it has managed to make the horror genre considered as “majority”, making the classics of the genre re-evaluated and appreciated for what they are: great works of world literature.

Rice’s success lies in having focused on those issues that for many made her a “second-class writer”, realizing that the ambition lies not in the issues but in the way they are approached. With her, the phenomenon of the vampire in literature transcends and acquires high nuances. The narrative and aesthetic construction of her books place this author in the foreground as one of the most important of all time, in her genre and in communion with all the others.

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Anne Rice: “Interview with the Vampire” made her the queen of the underworld