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Dig Deeper: In Memoriam—Anne Rice

Picture of Anne Rice at home in Palm Springs. Photograph by Dan Tuffs for the Guardian.

Anne Rice at home in Palm Springs. Photograph: Dan Tuffs for the Guardian.


Every writer knows fear and discouragement. Just write. The world is crying for new writing. It is crying for fresh and original voices and new characters and new stories. If you won’t write the classics of tomorrow, well, we will not have any.” —Anne Rice

Author of more than 30 novels, Anne Rice was born Howard Allen O’Brien and raised in New Orleans. Changing her name to Anne in the first grade, Rice lived with her parents and three sisters in New Orleans until her mother passed away when she was 15. Her father remarried and moved the family to Richardson, Texas. She attended Texas Woman’s University for a time before marrying Stan Rice, whom she had met in high school. After their marriage in 1961, the couple moved to San Francisco, and attended San Francisco State University where Rice earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (and later a Master’s Degree in English and Creative Writing in 1972).

In 1966, the couple’s daughter Michele was born. After relocating to Berkeley, Calif., in 1969, Rice wrote the short story Interview With the Vampire. In 1970, Michele was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away in 1972. The following year, Rice worked to make Interview With the Vampire into a novel (published in 1976). Struggling with the loss of her daughter, “she conjured up the vampire Lestat [Interview‘s main character] out of her grief.”

Her son Christopher was born in 1978 and in 1980 she and her husband moved to San Francisco and returned to New Orleans in 1988. In 1994, the film adaptation of Interview With the Vampire was released. Directed by Neil Jordan, the movie starred Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst, Helen McCrory, Thandiwe Newton, and Christian Slater also starred. Interview With the Vampire was the first of 13 novels in The Vampire Chronicles series that became “one of the most popular and profitable vampire properties of all time; selling upwards of 80 million copies worldwide.”

Rice is the author of numerous standalone novels and books series including The Wolf Gift chronicles, The Mayfair Witches, The Sleeping Beauty series, among others. Her novel, Feast of All Saints became a Showtime mini series in 2001. Rice adored her fans, telling the ABC News program Day One in 1993, “When I go to my signings…Everybody else is dripping with velvet and lace, and bringing me dead roses wrapped in leather handcuffs, and I love it.” Her fans in New Orleans, part of the Vampire Lestat Fan Club, host numerous events including an annual Anne Rice Vampire Ball. A local celebrity in her hometown, Rice was know to show up to local book signings in a coffin. Rice passed away on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Rancho Mirage, Calif., from complications of a stroke.

Rice was hopeful her legacy would live on—”I want to be loved and never forgotten…I’m really greedy, you know? I want to be immortal.” Rice’s life and legacy remains though her family, her fans and her writing. Acquiring Rice’s major literary works in 2020, AMC Networks plans to adapt Interview With The Vampire in an upcoming TV series on AMC and AMC+ set to premiere in 2022.

Explore some of Rice’s work below:

Autobiography:

Standalone novels:

The Wolf Gift Chronicles:

The Vampire Chronicles:

New Tales of the Vampires:

The Mayfair Witches:

The Vampire Chronicles/The Mayfair Witches Crossover:

The Life of Christ:

Songs of the Seraphim:

Ramses the Damned:

Further reading:


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 

References:

Anne Rice Dies: “Interview With the Vampire” Author Was 80. https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2021/12/12/anne-rice-interview-with-a-vampire-author-dies-at-80/6484438001/. Accessed 15 Dec. 2021.

Genzlinger, Neil. “Anne Rice, Who Spun Gothic Tales of Vampires, Dies at 80.” The New York Times, 12 Dec. 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/12/books/anne-rice-dead.html.

Welcome To Anne Rice.Com! http://annerice.com/Chamber-Biography.html. Accessed 15 Dec. 2021.

 


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Remembering Nora Ramos-Rojas

Screenshot of Nora C. Ramos-Rojas’ virtual memorial mass on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at St. Thomas of Villanova Church.

“Villanova became her home, her family.” This quote by University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, encapsulates the community that Nora C. Ramos-Rojas ’17 CPS created when she stepped foot on campus in the late 1990s. Ramos-Rojas passed away on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, from cancer. A memorial mass was held for her on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas of Villanova Church.

Born in Columbia in 1948, Ramos-Rojas came to the United States in 1973, earned her Green Card in the 1970s and became a United States citizen. Shortly after joining the Villanova community in the late 90’s she enrolled in the College of Professional Studies. Working in the custodial department at Villanova University, Ramos-Rojas’ sparkling personality brightened Falvey Memorial Library. Staff and students became accustomed to Ramos’ cheerful optimism and determination. In the library building early (so she could take classes in the evening), Falvey staff would often have to remind Ramos-Rojas that she would have to leave (as the Library was closing).

That resilience never wavered, and Ramos-Rojas graduated from Villanova on May 19, 2017, with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in General Studies after taking courses at Villanova for 19 years to complete her degree. She was awarded the inaugural Grit Award for her passion, persistence, and commitment to her education.

Recalling the Bible story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), Father Donohue stated that Ramos-Rojas exhibited traits of both sisters. Like Mary, she was devoted to her faith; a parishioner at Saint Colman Parish in Ardmore and a frequent volunteer on numerous service trips with the Villanova University Center for Peace and Justice Education program. Like Martha, she was passionate about helping others. During her time at Villanova she volunteered as a translator for Villanova University School of Law’s Clinic for Asylum, Refugee, and Emigrant Services (FLAC), which provides representation to refugees who have fled their home country due to human rights abuses and are seeking religious or political asylum in the United States. After graduation, she taught Spanish to young children at a local nursery school. Never without a smile, Ramos-Rojas always offered her support and help to those who crossed her path.

As Susan Leighton, Director of Academic Programs, and Ramos-Rojas’ former classmate reminisced, “In true Augustinian fashion, Villanova transformed Nora, and Nora transformed Villanova.” Her memory of strength, generosity, and integrity will live on through her family, friends, and her Villanova community.

For Ramos-Rojas’ full obituary, visit the Chadwick and McKinney Funeral Home webpage. Ramos-Rojas was featured in Falvey Library’s fall 2017 edition of Mosaic.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 

 

 


 


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Last Modified: February 26, 2021