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   Prism of the Night: A Biography of Anne Rice, by Katherine Ramsland  
  Nonfiction, first publication in December 1991 , latest edition in December 1994
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      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.

    Source: Patrick O'Kelley,

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