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Prism of the Night: A Biography of Anne Rice (Plume) Paperback – October 1, 1992

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Given the macabre and often lurid subject matter of Anne Rice's fiction, one would imagine that a good biography of her would uncover some pretty spicy details, and, in fact, Katherine Ramsland's Prism of the Night does a pretty good job of balancing analysis of Rice's work with a probing and revealing investigation of her life. Ramsland, a professor of philosophy at Rutgers University, extensively interviewed Rice for the book, and Stan Rice (Anne's poet-husband) read the manuscript. Throughout, Ramsland fulfills the promise of her introduction: "My approach combines psychological interpretation with philosophical themes. As I read the novels, I looked for qualities that transcended genre, while also developing autobiographical sketches.... This book is the result of an involved and sincere attempt to trace in her writing elements of literary creativity manifested in psychological sources." Often, close readings of the fiction are coupled with commentary about the key events (emotional, personal, literary, etc.) in Rice's life that likely impacted her characters and plots. The section on the death of Rice's daughter as it manifests in Interview with the Vampire is especially wrenching. The book will be appreciated by fans for its extensive direct citation of Rice and her closest friends and relatives, and for its diverse collection of photographs. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In a revelatory, intimate biography that fans will relish, Ramsland interprets Anne Rice's vampires as metaphors of seduction and submission to a higher mystery and power. Photos.

Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Plume
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (October 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452268621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452268623
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,581,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey Leeper on February 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
A common adage for writers is "to write about what you know." Given that, Ramsland doesn't so much as give us a run-down on Anne Rice's life as give us an explanation of how her life has affected her stories. Not only does Rice consciously write about the things she has studied, but she subconsciously tells us about her life.
Ending just after "The Witching Hour" was published, this book is a little outdated. The final words from the author discuss some of the projects that Anne Rice was working on. From what is said here, Rice was not thinking about spending as much time with the vampires as she eventually did. She also was thinking of returning to the mummy; however, I have yet to see this happen.
The text gives an account of Anne Rice's childhood and influences, her relationship and marriage to Stan Rice, her daughter who died of leukemia, and her son. It also discusses some of the work she has done once she began to create a name for herself. As mentioned, this isn't the meat of the text.
The meat of the text is in showing how she is resolving personal and subconscious issues in her writing. She is also sharing her memories of New Orleans and San Francisco. Many of her characters reflect herself and people in her life.
Although this is fascinating, it leads to a "bogging down." To ensure that the readers remember the characters, Ramsland provides long summaries of the key texts from this time, including the Anne Rampling and A.N. Roquelaure novels. This disrupts the narrative and keeps the readers from truly connecting with the flow of Rice's life.
Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to young writers and fans of Anne Rice.
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By A Customer on July 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is a very good. IF you are a Rice fan and you dont have this, you will be sorry. The author writes with the cooperation with the family and Anne Rice. A very in-depth look at Rice's life and major events. A very in-depth look at the motivations of Rice what devices she uses for her books. A MUST FOR RICE FANS
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Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful examination of Anne Rice's life and works. I only wish this book were updated to her more recent books. Every Anne Rice fan should read this book.
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By average on September 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Prism of the Night: A Biography of Anne Rice
by Katherine Ramsland is an interesting look at the well known writer, about where she grew up, went to school, and the influences of her upbringing and surroundings.

For fans of the Vampire books etc. you will probably find something of interest here.
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