LOS ANGELES | Ultimately, Anne Rice decided that being an atheist was just too damned hard.
She had been raised in a devoutly Catholic New Orleans family, and with a child’s eyes and accepting heart had experienced “the beauty of God.”
But years later, as a young woman, she’d found herself filled with questions, doubts. Was the church too rigid, and did it exert too much power over the individual? More importantly, did God even exist?
“I stopped talking to God,” Rice recalls. “I went into atheism with almost a religious passion. I believed it was reality; it had to be faced. The church couldn’t have been correct.”
The years passed. She got married. She had a daughter, but her daughter died of leukemia at age 5. She had a son, Christopher, who lived — and is now a novelist, though not as famous as his mother. How could he be, when Mother is the author of Interview With the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Witching Hour and a host of other international best-sellers?
In the 1990s, though, in her 50s, Rice found herself being pulled back to God. Atheism, it turns out, had been for her not a true expression of logic and reason but an emptiness, even a torment.
“It’s a more strenuous path than the religious path, because you’re then going to say that there is no God, there is no reason (for anything), that people on Earth are the only (way) to provide any meaning. That’s a rough road to travel.