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While famous bestselling vampire novelist Anne Rice was known for her deep connections to her birthplace of New Orleans, many might not realize that she spent many years in the Bay Area, living both in San Francisco and in Berkeley.
Rice’s son Christopher Rice announced his mother’s death on Twitter on Saturday from complications from a stroke, writing that as he sat by her bed in her final hours he was, “awash in memories of a life that took us from the fog-laced hills of the San Francisco Bay to the magical streets of New Orleans to the twinkling vistas of Southern California.” She was 80.
This is Anne’s son Christopher and it breaks my heart to inform you that earlier tonight Anne passed away due to complications resulting from a stroke. Below is the statement I shared on her Facebook page moments ago. pic.twitter.com/jIHYg6uewI— Anne Rice (@AnneRiceAuthor) December 12, 2021
Best remembered for her series of novels, The Vampire Chronicles, Rice’s debut novel “Interview with the Vampire” was published in 1976 and went on to become a major film release in 1994 starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Other titles in the 13-book series followed, including 1985’s “The Vampire Lestat,” and “The Queen of the Damned” in 1988, which were both combined to become a major Hollywood movie.
According to an article on Wikipedia, her vampire stories resonated with readers in the LGBTQ+ community who often sensed the same type of alienation portrayed in her writings.
“From the beginning, I’ve had gay fans, and gay readers who felt that my works involved a sustained gay allegory,” she once said during an interview on National Public Radio. “I didn’t set out to do that, but that was what they perceived. So even when Christopher was a little baby, I had gay readers and gay friends and knew gay people, and lived in the Castro district of San Francisco, which was a gay neighborhood.”
Rice earned a Master’s degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University where her husband Stan Rice worked. An accomplished writer in his own right, Stan Rice was a Professor of English, Chairman of the Creative Writing program, and Assistant Director of the Poetry Center At San Francisco State, according to the university’s archives.
Shortly after the success of “The Queen of the Damned,” the couple moved to New Orleans in 1989, and Anne Rice continued to live there until 2004 before returning to Southern California. Stan Rice died Dec. 9, 2002, of cancer at age 60 in New Orleans.
Anne Rice’s final published book, “Ramses the Damned: The Reign of Osiris,” which she co-wrote with her son Christopher, is scheduled for release next year.