In 1976 Anne Rice published Interview With The Vampire
, and within a decade the book became the best-known vampire novel since Bram Stoker
. After her death, the Associated Press said that Rice's "lush, best-selling gothic tales... helped reinvent the blood-drinking immortals as tragic antiheroes." Anne Rice wrote multiple novels exploring sexual and romantic desire and the spiritual world. Many starred the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt -- a bold, egotistical, fashion-conscious immortal who was a far cry from the musty old Count Dracula stereotype. (Lestat still drank people's blood, though.) In the end, Rice wrote a dozen novels about Lestat that together are known as The Vampire Chronicles. They include The Vampire Lestat
(1985), Memnoch the Devil
(1995), and Prince Lestat
(2014). Rice also published novels under the pen names Anne Rampling and A.N. Roquelaure. In 1998, she had a reawakening of her Catholic faith and abandoned the dark subjects that made her famous. Her 2005 book, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
, tells the tale of Jesus of Nazareth
as a boy. In 2010, however, she publicly renounced Christianity, saying she remained committed to Christ but didn't hold with much of organized religion. She said at the time, "I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control." Anne Rice grew up in New Orleans, and was closely associated with the city. As a successful author, she lived for many years in a spooky old-time looking mansion there now called the Brevard-Rice House. She moved to California in 2005, in part to be near her son Christopher, but at her death in 2021 he announced that she would be interred in the family mausoleum in New Orleans. Her personal papers and archives were acquired by Tulane University in 2020.