Prism of Night: A Biography of Anne Rice

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From the hauntingly imaginative worlds of the supernatural to the dark sexuality of the truly erotic, the novels of Anne Rice have had the chilling power to connect with readers' deepest, most secret fantasies and have given rise to questions about the enigmatic author herself. Now, in this first full-length biography, emiment scholar Katherine Ramsland provides a revealing portrait of Anne Rice, the woman; a history of the circumstances that led to the writing of her irresistible books of the macabe and the ...
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1994 Trade paperback Illustrated. New. No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 432 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. From Kirkus ... Reviews: Exciting life of bestselling gothicist Anne Rice, by psychologist/philosopher Ramsland (Philosophy/Rutgers). Benefiting from Rice's input, this will have to be thought of as an ``authorized'' biography, although Ramsland is her own writer--and at times a heavy-going writer, bearing what might be called the Curse of the Jungians, an overdense working out of Rice's sea-changes and gender shiftings. Born in New Orleans and named Howard Allen, Rice has always been an outsider with strong male traits and since childhood has refused to accept victimization by dress and gender codes. Like Orson Welles, she and her three sisters were raised from infancy to be geniuses, allowed to stay up late, dabble at will and read what they wished, and skip school, all with the doting permission of their alcoholic mother, Katherine, and highly moral C Read more Show Less

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New Ships From Canada. New. No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 432 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. From Kirkus Reviews: Exciting ... life of bestselling gothicist Anne Rice, by psychologist/philosopher Ramsland (Philosophy/Rutgers). Benefiting from Rice's input, this will have to be thought of as an ``authorized'' biography, although Ramsland is her own writer--and at times a heavy-going writer, bearing what might be called the Curse of the Jungians, an overdense working out of Rice's sea-changes and gender shiftings. Born in New Orleans and named Howard Allen, Rice has always been an outsider with strong male traits and since childhood has refused to accept victimization by dress and gender codes. Like Orson Welles, she and her three sisters were raised from infancy to be geniuses, allowed to stay up late, dabble at will and read what they wished, and skip school, all with the doting permission of their alcoholic mother, Katherine, and highly m. Read more Show Less

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Overview

From the hauntingly imaginative worlds of the supernatural to the dark sexuality of the truly erotic, the novels of Anne Rice have had the chilling power to connect with readers' deepest, most secret fantasies and have given rise to questions about the enigmatic author herself. Now, in this first full-length biography, emiment scholar Katherine Ramsland provides a revealing portrait of Anne Rice, the woman; a history of the circumstances that led to the writing of her irresistible books of the macabe and the forbidden; and in-depth analysis of her major novels, including Interview With the Vampire, the Vampire Lestat, The Witching Hour, and the Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Here is the whole story of the young Anne Rice, born Howard Allen O'Brien in a Gothic-like New Orleans to a brilliant and doomed mother and complex father, who took his daughter for walks in the decaying cemeteries of the"Big Easy" of Anne's passionate love for poet Stan Rice that began in her teen years; of their married life in the turbulent San Francisco of the 1960s; and of her first efforts as a writer, which would climax in her daughter's death. At once disturbing and fascinating, this dramatic, informative account brings to vivid life Anne Rice, the author and the woman. It is essential reading for students, fans, and anyone who wishes to better understand the stories of this masterful necromancer of words.

Now completely updated, here is the fascinating biography of the woman behind the most richly conceived "children of the night" in the history of vampire literature. Includes new material on the writing of Lasher and the filming of Interview with the Vampire. 16 pages of photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The life of novelist Anne Rice ( Interview with the Vampire , etc.) is almost as unusual as her fiction. Her birthname was Howard Allen O'Brien, and she changed her first name to Anne before marrying Stan Rice. Born in 1941, she grew up in a New Orleans full of Southern gothic ambience; her father enjoyed taking her through cemeteries. The death of her alcoholic, highly religious mother, and the later loss of her own daughter to leukemia, plunged her into grief, obsessive-compulsive behavior and nearly fragmented her. Through her supernatural tales and erotica written under a number of pseudonyms, she explored her own masochistic impulses, ``sought to unite the male and female within herself'' and expressed her desire for humanity's ``enlightenment free of religious tyranny,'' according to Ramsland, who teaches philosophy at Rutgers. In a revelatory, intimate biography that fans will relish, Ramsland interprets Rice's vampires as metaphors of seduction and submission to a higher mystery and power. Photos. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Rice is author of the successful ``Vampire Chronicles'' ( Interview with the Vampire , LJ 5/1/76; The Vampire Lestat , LJ 10/1/85; The Queen of the Damned , LJ 10/1/88). Born in 1941 in New Orleans, she grew up in an atmosphere of Irish Catholic and Southern Creole culture tinged by fantasy and supernaturalism and was influenced by feminism and the gay counterculture during the Sixties and Seventies. Identifying with those on the fringe of conventional society, she moved from vampires to mummies ( The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned , LJ 4/1/89), witches ( The Witching Hour , LJ 10/15/90), erotica, and even pornography. As Ramsland demonstrates, Rice's themes express duality and conflict: male/female, dominance/submission, hero/victim, freedom/suppression. Ramsland is thorough, but she spends more time recounting plot than showing how the themes she uncovers are carried out in Rice's work. Nevertheless, her painstaking biography will be useful for both lay and scholarly readers.-- Addie Lee Bracy, Beaver Coll. Lib., Glenside, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452273313
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.03 (d)

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