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She May Write About Coffins But She Doesn’t Live In Them, Duh

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Another Thursday, another House & Home. And aside from ID editor Julie Lasky’s babydaddy Ernest Beck (it’s all connected, kids) getting a little saucy with the concrete, there’s not so much we were fascinated by, except the shocking discovery that Anne Rice, though she may write about vampires and crucifixes (but not demons) and seem really dark, lives in a nice bright enormous house in California. We love the At Home With construct, mostly because it gives our more voyeuristic slant a Gray Lady-sanctioned outlet, and because it’s cool to see the inside of other peoples’ houses. Yes, we were the kids with the open house-obsessed parents. Laura Miller explains how Anne left New Orleans (before) for “Paradise West,” and then started writing about Jesus. She’s still got some creepy shit lying around though.

The large glass-doored cabinet displaying Ms. Rice’s doll collection–antique French Bru dolls as well as new creations with disturbingly adult, sensuous faces by the Israeli artist Edna Dali–evokes the creepy hothouse milieu of her earlier fiction. Ms. Rice describes a large crucifix from a Carmelite convent in Louisiana and the statues of saints and Madonnas arranged elsewhere throughout the house as “parish art, devotional art, stuff people used, not fine antiques.” To the casual observer, the two collections might seem to characterize the divide in Ms. Rice’s fiction between her decadent vampire novels and the newer, more pious work.

From bloodsucking to salvation. Gotta love it.

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