According to her son, storied and celebrated author Anne Rice, best known for her seminal vampire fiction series The Vampire Chronicles, has passed away at 80 following “complications resulting from a stroke”.
Rice’s sudden passing was revealed by her son, Christopher Rice, who took to his mother’s official Facebook page on December 11th to inform fans of the heartbreaking news.
“Earlier tonight, Anne passed away due to complications resulting from a stroke,” revealed Christopher. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Christopher then turned to his mother’s “final hours”, recalling how he “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,’” he added. “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.”
In addition to her work in helping bring Vampires to the forefront of pop-culture, Rice also penned a number of other works, including a trilogy of erotic novels based on the story of Sleeping Beauty and a series which depicted a fictional but historically and religious-based interpretation of the life of Jesus Christ.
However, Rice could never stay away from the world of The Vampire Chronicles for long, producing near-regular entries in the series up until her death, with the most recent story in the series, Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat, being published in late 2018.
Though she spent most of her life as an atheist, Rice returned to her childhood faith of Catholicism in 1998 before ultimately denouncing organized religion all-together.
“In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay,” she declared in 2010. “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.”
However, in spite of her admonishment the Christian church, Rice clarified that she still believed in God and Christ, explaining, “My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers.”
“Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become,” she stated.
Concluding his announcement, Christopher noted that “Anne will be interred in our family’s mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans in a private ceremony,” while “a celebration of her life will take place in New Orleans” next year.
“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,” noted Christopher.