Anne Rice, the occult writer who left Catholicism for vampirism (literarily) at the age of 18, has returned to the Mother Church.
In an interview with Newsweek (on MSNBC.com), Rice says that her reconversion will be the sole focus of her future writing.
In two weeks, Anne Rice, the chronicler of vampires, witches andunder the pseudonym A. N. Roquelaureof soft-core S&M encounters, will publish “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt,” a novel about the 7-year-old Jesus, narrated by Christ himself. “I promised,” she says, “that from now on I would write only for the Lord.” It’s the most startling public turnaround since Bob Dylan’s “Slow Train Coming” announced that he’d been born again.
Rice’s occult works struck a particular chord with women. I’ll attribute that connection to Rice’s ability to combine and contrast evil with virtue sensuously, sometimes erotically, leaving the reader pondering whether or not he ought to enjoy the things he’s reading (thinking? feeling? desiring?).
According to Kirkus Reviews, this quality, which they describe as Rices’ ability “to imbue Gothic chills with moral complexity and heartfelt sorrow,” carries beautifully forward into reverted writing.
All I can say is that this is very good news for Catholicism and for the souls of Rice’s readers who sided with the anti-heroes of her previously novels (and they are legion). Many a Goth young lady will grudgingly, fearfully, painfully pick up Rice’s new book, pronounce it garbage, and read the next. With God’s grace, a little bell will ring, and suddenly the light will shine through.
From the reviews I’ve read, Rice plays a little fast and loose with Christ’s early years, though she was careful to avoid direct conflict with Scripture. Still, that leaves much room for contridiction of Catholic doctrine, but I’ll leave it folks more knowledgable to decide whether Rice commits any serious errors in her book.