On December 14 1998, Anne Rice woke up with a headache and then lost consciousness. The author of the Vampire Chronicles series almost died. Diagnosed with diabetes, she recovered.
Anne Rice later told ABC News (America) that in the lead up to her illness she lost weight and focus.
“I was sitting at the computer, and trying to write, and the simplest descriptions were impossible for me. I simply couldn’t find the words.”
After her brush with death, the author returned to the Catholic Church that she left as a teenager but remained a staunch advocate for gay rights, abortion and birth control.
As she told National Public Radio, she later left the church again over the issue of same-sex marriage.
“I didn’t anticipate at the beginning that the U.S. bishops were going to come out against same-sex marriage. That they were actually going to donate money to defeat the civil rights of homosexuals in the secular society.
“When that broke in the news, I felt an intense pressure. And I am a person who grew up with the saying that all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing, and I believe that statement.”
Christopher Rice is an author, Anne’s son and a gay rights activist. Although the bond between the pair is well-known and she always supported him, she said her support for gay rights came long before she knew about her own child’s sexuality.
“From the beginning, I’ve had gay fans and gay readers who felt that my works involved a sustained gay allegory. 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 neighbourhood. And so my experience with gay people long preceded Christopher coming out of the closet and becoming a gay novelist.”
As well as additions to the famed Vampire Chronicles, Anne wrote numerous other books following her recovery from that coma on December 14, 1998.
“Let me pass now from fiction into legend.”
The Vampire Lestat
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