Culture At Large

No more witches and vampires: Anne Rice on her early works

Andy Rau

Vampire-queen-turned-Christian-writer Anne Rice is answering reader questions about her faith and writing at Beliefnet this week, and many of her answers (and the questions) are quite interesting. One of the obvious questions to ask is how, from her current vantage point in the church, she looks back at the often lurid and grisly vampire novels that made her famous. Here's her reply to a question along those lines:
I don't write about the vampires and the witches anymore, not because I regret such work or feel guilty about it, far from it. I don't write about them because I can't be them anymore in fiction. I am some one else now. I live in a world where Salvation is a reality and the Light of Christ is a reality. So I can't enter that old dark world in which my fallen heroes were metaphors for my own lost soul, and my soul grieving for a lost faith in God. I changed. So my work had to change.
A quick Google search turned up this essay at Anne Rice's website in which she explains in more detail her attitude toward her vampire novels.

I've often wondered how artists, musicians, and other creators who convert to Christianity late in their careers look back at the work they produced before they found Christ. Rice observes that her vampire works chronicled her own spiritual wandering and search for God. (Indeed, you can't read Interview with the Vampire and not conclude that the author was trying to work through some serious questions about sin and free will.) Now that Rice has embraced Christianity, her earlier novels could actually stand as a travelogue of her own journey back to the church.

Rice may not want to revisit her witches and vampires, but I'll admit this has me interested in checking a few of her early novels out of the library. (I've only read the first one, and that was many years ago.) If you've read Rice's vampire novels, did you discern a spiritual or thematic shift as the series developed? Do they stand as milestones in Rice's return to the faith, or do you think they're better left forgotten in the light of her newer, faith-focused books?

Topics: Culture At Large, Arts & Leisure, Books, Art