In late 2005, novelist Anne Rice stopped by BustedHalo‘s® offices in New York to promote her book Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt, the first installment in her planned four-part “autobiography” of Jesus. What was supposed to be a brief interview with the legendary author—who has sold more than 100 million books worldwide—turned into a wide-ranging, hour-long discussion of her career and her re-discovered Catholic faith.
Her second book in the series Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana, picks up Jesus’ life in Nazareth at age 30 just before he begins his public ministry. Like its predecessor, The Road to Cana eschews the lush style that marked Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series for a far more spare prose. There is a simplicity to Rice’s Jesus that will beentirely recognizable to anyone familiar with the Gospels. This is, of course, Rice’s intention. Though she has filled in details of Jesus’ life that aren’t found in any of the Gospels—including frustrations with his “brothers” in the family’s carpentry trade, and the pressure to take a young woman named Avigail as his wife—Rice’s Christ the Lord books are ultimately deeply devotional works that testify to the strength and scriptural orthodoxy of her faith.
Rice, who is 66 and suffers from diabetes, no longer does promotional book tours. So, with the March 4th release of The Road to Cana the author invited BustedHalo® editor-in-chief, Bill McGarvey to interview her at her home in the desert near Palm Springs, California.
The following video segments are excerpted from an hour-long interview in which Rice once again spoke on a wide variety of subjects ranging from sexuality and the Catholic imagination to the possibility of a Christian Vampire novel and her outspoken support of Hillary Clinton.
The interview is broken into 9 different pieces that BustedHalo® can be seen above.
(Special thanks to Sue Tebbe and Becket Ghioto for all their assistance.)
- The Catholic Imagination, the Sensual World, Women Priests & Change in the ChurchTOPICS DISCUSSED:
- What is the Catholic Imagination?
- The long tradition of art in Catholicism
- The belief that the sensual world is good
- Controversy with her books
- Women priests
- Change in the Church
- An Upcoming Memoir, Painful Memories, A “Tragic Mistake,” Regrets & Advice for SeekersTOPICS DISCUSSED:
- Spiritual memoir Called Out of Darkness to be released in the Fall of 2008
- Her childhood in New Orleans
- Painful memories
- Her faith “breaking” at 18
- A tragic mistake
- Advice for young adults regarding faith
- What being a Christian means to her
- Thinking God was Catholic
- How Her Son Saved Her Life, Quitting DrinkingTOPICS DISCUSSED:
- How her son saved her and her late husband’s life
- Stopping Drinking in the late 70s
- Her Public Persona vs. Her Real Life
- Her Disagreements with and Dependence on Scripture ScholarsTOPICS DISCUSSED:
- Controversies surrounding John’s Gospel
- Her interactions with scripture scholars
- Admiration for Anglican scholars
- Jesus’ Loneliness & Love, Taking on the DaVinci Code and Is the U.S. Post-Christian?TOPICS DISCUSSED:
- Her second trip to Israel
- Who she’s been reading
- Taking the Bible completely seriously as a writer
- The loneliness of Jesus and dealing with his love of the character Avigail in her new novel
- Taking on the DaVinci Code…”It was a hoot!”
- The challenges in writing an exciting novel about a character who is sinless, celibate and didn’t marry
- Why the United States is not a Post-Christian nation
- Our Obsessive Religiosity, Mary’s Perpetual Virginity, Why Skeptical Critics are WrongTOPICS DISCUSSED:
- Amazed at how obsessesed people are with religion
- The Challengeof writing about Jesus
- Getting the community of Nazareth right
- Her devotion to the blessed mother
- Lots of emails on Mary’s perpetual virginity
- Why the skeptical critics haven’t made their case
- Beauty, Artifice, Sensuality & FaithTOPICS DISCUSSED:
- Now that she no longer does book tours, Rice discusses her extensive contact with her readers via the web.
- The continuity between her Vampire books and her Christ the Lord series.
- Love of beauty, artifice and sensuality in the Vampire Chronicles and her Catholic faith.
- The Catholic artistic tradition.
- Being a Christ haunted writer.
- The Eucharistic symbol of blood in her Vampire books
- A Christian Vampire Novel? The Role of Women and Homosexuals in the ChurchTOPICS DISCUSSED:
- On the possibility of revisiting Lestat and bringing her vampires into a Christian context.
- How is her life different since coming back to faith and the Catholic Church?
- Loving her enemies and neighbors.
- Christians persecuting other Christians.
- The role of women and gay people in the Church.
- Her son Christopher’s activism for gay rights.
- Homosexuality in Jesus’ day
- Supporting Hillary Clinton and Being a Pro-Life Catholic DemocratTOPICS DISCUSSED:
- Her support of Hillary Clinton.
- On the issue of abortion and being “an old-guard, Roman Catholic social justice person” in 2008
- Anne Rice at Home in Rancho Mirage, CA.TOPICS DISCUSSED:
- Author Anne Rice gives BustedHalo editor-in-chief Bill McGarvey a brief tour of some of the religious art in her home as well as paintings by her late husband Stan Rice