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Monday, October 24, 2005

Anne Rice does Jesus

Diverging from her usual tales of vampires and other occultish creatures, Rice is going 180 degrees on the holiness spectrum, offering up a novelization of a young Jesus sojourning in Alexandria, Egypt. By way of research, Rice submerged herself in the Bible, scholarly biblical treatises, and every epic drama on His Holiness to come out of Hollywood, including Gibson's The Passion of Christ (which she says she loved).

Why the change? Well, it may have been Rice's near death experience last year after surgery for an intestinal blockage. Experiences such as these often prompt dramatic life and spiritual epiphanies. In Rice's case, she says she has promised that she will "only write for the Lord." Which I take to mean the reading public has seen the last of Lestat.

Out of Egypt, to be published in the next couple of weeks, is told through the narrative viewpoint of a 7-year-old Christ, who studies with the ancient philosopher Philo and does miraculous feats detailed in the Apocrypha, such as turning clay birds into living creatures. Although Rice takes liberties, she does not overtly contradict biblical teachings.

Rice is the first to admit this new bent may lose her some loyal readers, who have followed faithfully through her series of occult novels. But as Rice states in her afterword, she "is ready to do violence to her career." She explains that the "compulsive, conscience-stricken evildoers" of her books reflected her "long spiritual unease."

It seems she has found that illusive spiritual peace and has chosen another road to walk down. The question is, will her fans follow in her steps? Whether they do or not, Rice is already planning to do a series on Christ, whom she calls "the ultimate supernatural hero...the ultimate immortal of them all."

Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 10/24/2005 10:37:00 AM Permanent Link     | | Home


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