Farewell, Anne Rice: Interview with the Vampire, the Monster Within and Surviving Emotional Apocalypses

Plus, a Revisit to My Previous PostA Brief, Non-Exhaustive Tour Through My Favorite Romantic Vampire Media

Rest in peace, Anne Rice, 1941-2021.

As I note below in my vampire romance essay, my love of vampires didn’t start with Anne Rice. But my lifelong love affair with romantic vampires was brought into full bloom by her first book, Interview with the Vampire. I read Interview with the Vampire as soon as it came out in paperback when I was a teenager. I haven’t read all of her books, but I’ve read most of them, including some from each of the genres she wrote in. The vampires will always be my favorites, but I also love her witches, mummies, Servant of the Bones and Exit to Eden.

Perhaps due to the amount of suffering and loss she went through in her own life, Ms Rice has a way of expressing the emotional imperatives of her stories that are rivaled only by apocalypse and war stories. Her monsters, whether human or supernatural, are sympathetic because she knows that, no matter what our lives look like to others in the moment, many of us live our internal lives in an emotional apocalypse which requires the strengths and weaknesses of a monster to survive.

We are put through the emotional wringer in Rice’s introduction to her vampires – there is no mistaking what is most important to them, and it’s not blood. These vampires have deeply passionate feelings about everything, especially each other. The beauty and intensity of a vampire romance (or any monster romance) lies in admitting that we are the monster and can also love the monster in another, that opposite extremes exist in us at the same time and we can love, or at least accept, both ends of that spectrum.

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