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Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 7, 2008

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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1St Edition edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307268276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307268273
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Anne Rice stopped crafting stories about vampires and began writing about Jesus, many of her fans were shocked. This autobiographical spiritual memoir provides an account of how the author rediscovered and fully embraced her Catholic faith after decades as a self-proclaimed atheist. Rice begins with her childhood in New Orleans, when she seriously considered entering a convent. As she grows into a young adult she delves into concerns about faith, God and the Catholic Church that lead her away from religion. The author finally reclaims her Catholic faith in the late 1990s, describing it as a movement toward total surrender to God. She writes beautifully about how through clouds of doubt and pain she finds clarity, realizing how much she loved God and desired to surrender her being, including her writing talent, to God. Covering such a large sequence of time and life events is not easy, and some of the author's transitions are a bit jarring. Fans of Rice's earlier works will enjoy discovering more about her life and fascinating journey of faith. (Oct. 7)
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From Booklist

Rice gave faithful fans fits when she concluded her lengthy vampire saga with series hero Lestat searching for sainthood and followed up with carefully orthodox biographical novels about Jesus. Now she eloquently explains the life change that shaped those books: her return to Catholicism. First, however, she limns the early-life faith she hoped to resume and the long exile from it that began, so typically, in college and continued until late middle age. She expansively recalls the cohesion and beauty that regular mass attendance, Catholic schooling, and community observance of the panoply of Christian festivals bestowed on her New Orleans childhood and adolescence. Much more tersely but no less consequentially, she asserts the satisfaction of her thoroughly faithful 41-year marriage to the poet Stan Rice (1942–2002). About her long period of unbelief, she is even briefer, though she retrospectively interprets her vampires and witches as sad unbelievers still desperately striving for transcendence and grace, as she was. Coming home to New Orleans in 1989 preceded coming home to the church in 1996, and full realization of revived faith came with the decision to write for God. As plainly written as a Quaker spiritual journal, Rice’s confession of faith will impress many who wouldn’t think of reading vampire romances—and possibly many who read little else. --Ray Olson

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Customer Reviews

I have always been short on time and a slight sigh often escaped me when I would gaze upon my collection of Rice.
Valerie F. Arena
A simply amazing account of a remarkable spiritual journey and for a non-Catholic, it answered so many of my questions about the Catholic church.
In this wonderful book, American best-selling author Anne Rice traces her spiritual journey from childhood to present.
Alice in Wonderland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

196 of 205 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on October 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
With CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS, Anne Rice gives readers the very first autobiographical look at herself. In doing so, we discover how little was actually known about the woman who gave us such gothic horror classics as INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and THE VAMPIRE LESTAT. Conversely, her last two books have been fictionalized portrayals of Jesus Christ as a boy and young adult --- themes that presented quite a paradox for those who identify Rice as being strictly a writer of dark fantasy novels. This memoir answers all these questions and sheds light on how closely her novels have represented her personal feelings and struggles over many years.

CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS opens with the quote "This book is about Faith in God." Rice goes on to present her story, beginning with her childhood, after indicating that she had lost her faith for many years and reclaimed it again at age 57. Born with the unfortunate name of Howard Allen --- she changed it to Anne at an early age --- she lived with her family in a very Catholic section of New Orleans. Her upbringing was extremely Catholic and exclusionary of anything outside this teaching. She was in awe of Catholic churches and held those in authority in the highest regard without questioning anything she was taught or told.

The Catholic world Rice knew was one where priests were esteemed and respected with never any word of scandal surrounding them. During her youth, it was a time when the Catholic Church was deeply respected in America; as she puts it, the Catholic Church was "a cultural force." Living in the Deep South, she recognized that the people in her community were vigorously racist, even though her parents were not. They all accepted segregation as something that had to exist.
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Sherry L. Hogan on October 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After having read Anne Rice's "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" and "Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana" TWICE, I was, needless to say, first in line October 7th to pick up her new memoir,"Called Out of Darkness: a spiritual confession." I was not disappointed -- and am now anticipating a second read.

As a professional writer for more than 30 years, and an avid reader since childhood, it is rare that I take the time to reread novels or non-fiction books. Reading and research have always been one of my most treasured activities -- and I do not make my choices lightly.

Brought up as a Lutheran, I, too, separated from the church during college -- primarily when I discovered that the minister I had grown up with, who taught me the Catechism, performed my confirmation and presented me with my first communion -- had been sexually abusing both young girls and boys in my own confirmation class and had continued to do so for years. When the abuse was discovered in my freshman year, the church simply sent him (and his wife and three children) on to another church in another state. I was appalled! Although my parents tried to explain to me that the pastor was only human and that it should not affect my faith in Christ -- I literally "threw the baby out with the bath water."

But I was also quite miserable -- I had lost something very precious and felt myself floundering, trying to figure out what, if anything, I had to hold on to. I spent many years trying to find answers in many places. Finally, I decided that I did believe -- but could never find a church I could adhere to. And the doubts persisted.

Now in my mid-fifties, I have spent the last few years fascinated with the life of Christ -- and my library reflects that fact.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By C. P. Anderson on December 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm just a casual fan and have read only one or two of Anne Rice's vampire novels. I came to this book mostly as a Catholic and as a fan of conversion stories.

Unfortunately, I ended up rather disappointed in this effort. The majority of the book is made of childhood reminiscences, mostly of the physical details of churches she attended. My guess is trying to recapture those childhood feelings probably led to her returning to the church, but the reminiscences really just weren't all that interesting. I'm sure they were to her, but unfortunately she really wasn't able to communicate that to the reader. You'd think such an acclaimed writer as Rice would have done a better job.

In fact, a lot of the writing seemed rather flat and low-key, even a little offhand. I'm not sure if this reflected her conversion, the very different subject matter, or perhaps a simple need to make some money. I'd even go so far as to say there was some real blunting of affect throughout the book, which I found rather strange.

Her life as an atheist and a writer of semi-occult subjects gets very short shrift. I would have really liked to have seen more on her thoughts about how these two lives of hers interact and intersect. It's quite a leap between the two. You'd think that would have been the main topic of the book, actually.

I also thought her many personal tragedies - including the deaths of her mother (to "the drink"), young daughter, and husband, as well her own brush with death through a diabetic coma - would have merited more attention. Those are the things that real conversions are made of, in my mind.

I am happy I read the book, though, and did get quite a lot out of it. (I also thinks she sounds like an interesting person whom I'd love to talk to and get to know.) It just seems the book could have been so much more.
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More About the Author

Anne Rice was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. Anne has spent more of her life in California than in New Orleans, but New Orleans is her true home and provides the back drop for many of her famous novels. The French Quarter provided the setting for her first novel, Interview with the Vampire. And her ante-bellum house in the Garden District was the fictional home of her imaginary Mayfair Witches.

She is the author of over 30 books, most recently the Toby O'Dare novels Of Love and Evil, and Angel Time; the memoir, Called Out of Darkness;and her two novels about Jesus, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. (Anne regards Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana as her best novel.) ---- Under the pen name, A.N. Roquelaure, Anne is the author of the erotic (BDSM) fantasy series, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. Under the pen name Anne Rampling she is the author of two erotic novels, Exit to Eden and Belinda.

Anne publicly broke with organized religion in July of 2010 on moral grounds, affirming her faith in God, but refusing any longer to be called "Christian." The story attracted surprising media attention, with Rice's remarks being quoted in stories all over the world. Anne hopes that her two novels about Jesus will be accepted on their merits by readers and transcend her personal difficulties with religion. "Both my Christ the Lord novels were written with deep conviction and a desire to write the best novels possible about Jesus that were rooted in the bible and in the Christian tradition. I think they are among the best books I've ever been able to write, and I do dream of a day when they are evaluated without any connection to me personally. I continue to get a lot of very favorable feedback on them from believers and non believers. I remain very proud of them."

Anne is very active on her FaceBook Fan Page and has well over a million followers. She answers questions every day on the page, and also posts on a variety of topics, including literature, film, music, politics, religion, and her own writings. Many indie authors follow the page, and Anne welcomes posts that include advice for indie authors. She welcomes discussion there on numerous topics. She frequently asks her readers questions about their response to her work and joins in the discussions prompted by these questions.

Her latest novel, "The Wolves of Midwinter," a sequel to "The Wolf Gift" and part of a werewolf series set in Northern California in the present time, will be published on October 15, 2013. In these books --- The Wolf Gift Chronicles -- Anne returns to the classic monsters and themes of supernatural literature, similar to those she explored in her Vampire Chronicles, and tales of the Mayfair Witches. Her new "man wolf" hero, Reuben Golding, is a talented young man in his twenties who suddenly discovers himself in possession of werewolf powers that catapult him into the life of a comic book style super hero. How Reuben learns to control what he is, how he discovers others who possess the same mysterious "wolf gift," and how he learns to live with what he has become --- is the main focus of the series. "The Wolves of Midwinter" is a big Christmas book --- a book about Christmas traditions, customs, and the old haunting rituals of Midwinter practiced in Europe and in America. It's about how the werewolves celebrate these rituals, as humans and as werewolves. But the book also carries forward the story of Reuben's interactions with his girl friend, Laura, and with his human family, with particular focus on Reuben's father, Phil, and his brother, Jim. As a big family novel with elements of the supernatural, "The Wolves of Midwinter" has much in common with Anne's earlier book, "The Witching Hour." Among the treats of "The Wolves of Midwinter" is a tragic ghost who appears in the great house at Nideck Point, and other "ageless ones" who add their mystery and history to the unfolding revelations that at times overwhelm Reuben.

In October of 2014, with the publication of "Prince Lestat," Anne will be returning to the fabled "Brat Prince" of the Vampire Chronicles, catching up with him in present time. This is the first of several books planned focusing on Lestat's new adventures with other members of the Vampire tribe. When the publication of "Prince Lestat" was announced on Christopher Rice's "The Dinner Party Show," a weekly internet radio broadcast, it made headlines in the US and around the world.

Anne's first novel, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976 and has gone on to become one of the best-selling novels of all time. She continued her saga of the Vampire Lestat in a series of books, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles, which have had both great mainstream and cult followings.

Interview with the Vampire was made into a motion picture in 1994, directed by Neil Jordan, and starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas. The film became an international success. Anne's novel, Feast of All Saints about the free people of color of ante-bellum New Orleans became a Showtime mini series in 2001 and is available now on dvd. The script for the mini series by John Wilder was a faithful adaptation of the novel.

Anne Rice is also the author of other novels, including The Witching Hour, Servant of the Bones, Merrick, Blackwood Farm, Blood Canticle, Violin, and Cry to Heaven. She lives in Palm Desert, California, but misses her home in New Orleans. She hopes to obtain a pied a terre in the French Quarter there some time in the near future.

Anne has this to say of her work: "I have always written about outsiders, about outcasts, about those whom others tend to shun or persecute. And it does seem that I write a lot about their interaction with others like them and their struggle to find some community of their own. The supernatural novel is my favorite way of talking about my reality. I see vampires and witches and ghosts as metaphors for the outsider in each of us, the predator in each of us...the lonely one who must grapple day in and day out with cosmic uncertainty."

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