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Anne Rice, Celebrated Author of ‘Interview with the Vampire’ and ‘The Mayfair Witches,’ Has Passed Away at the Age of 80

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Horror fans the world over woke up Sunday morning to learn that the genre had lost one of its most celebrated scribes, as Anne Rice had passed away late Saturday evening, owing to complications following a stroke. The icon of modern gothic fiction was 80 years old.

Her son, author and frequent collaborator Christopher Rice, subsequently posted on social media on her behalf, stating the following:

Dearest People of Page. This is Anne’s son Christopher and it breaks my heart to bring you this sad news. Earlier tonight, Anne passed away due to complications resulting from a stroke. She left us almost nineteen years to the day my father, her husband Stan, died. The immensity of our family’s grief cannot be overstated. As my mother, her support for me was unconditional — she taught me to embrace my dreams, reject conformity and challenge the dark voices of fear and self-doubt. As a writer, she taught me to defy genre boundaries and surrender to my obsessive passions. In her final hours, I sat beside her hospital bed in awe of her accomplishments and her courage, awash in memories of a life that took us from the fog laced hills of the San Francisco Bay Area to the magical streets of New Orleans to the twinkling vistas of Southern California. As she kissed Anne goodbye, her younger sister Karen said, “What a ride you took us on, kid.” I think we can all agree. Let us take comfort in the shared hope that Anne is now experiencing firsthand the glorious answers to many great spiritual and cosmic questions, the quest for which defined her life and career. Throughout much of her final years, your contributions to this page brought her much joy, along with a profound sense of friendship and community. Anne will be interred in our family’s mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans in a private ceremony. Next year, a celebration of her life will take place in New Orleans. This event will be open to the public and will invite the participation of her friends, readers and fans who brought her such joy and inspiration throughout her life.

With a career spanning across five decades, the author of Interview with the Vampire began with said novel in 1976, after the untimely death of her young daughter, Michelle. This came during Rice’s graduate work at San Francisco State University. The fallen Michelle, who passed due to a rare form of leukemia, would serve as inspiration for the book’s child vampire Claudia. The book has been adapted to comics on three different occasions, as well as a celebrated film adaptation directed by Neil Jordan in 1994. “The Vampire Chronicles,” as they would become known, would stretch across thirteen novels, most recent among them being Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat in 2018. It is estimated that this series alone has amassed well over 100 million books sold.

Rice also wrote erotic fiction under the pseudonyms Anne Rampling A. N. Roquelaure, with her book Exit to Eden getting a film adaptation in 1994, directed by Garry Marshall.

The work of Anne Rice will live on in the hearts and minds of horror and gothic fiction fans for ages to come, but the New Orleans native’s passing does not mark the end. Last May, it was announced that AMC had acquired the rights to The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches series, with Christopher and, originally, Anne Rice herself, set to serve as executive producer. Further, the mother-son duo have the third chapter of their Ramses the Damned series, titled The Reign of Osiris, due out on February 1st, 2022. No further writings have been announced at this time.

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