Interview With a Christ Child

Lestat must be spinning in his coffin right about now. His creator, author Anne Rice, has driven a stake through his heart and turned away from her trademark chronicles of angst-ridden vampires wandering the earth in search of redemption. Having rediscovered her Christian faith, she now turns her attention and writing prowess toward the Redeemer himself.

Rice’s new novel, the first in a forthcoming trilogy on the life of Christ, is set for release November 1st and is entitled Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. Her subject is the 7-year-old Jesus as he relates in his own words the struggle to balance the usual travails of childhood with a growing awareness that he’s “just a little different” than the other kids on the block.

As usual, Rice has apparently done her homework. She has spent several years sifting through scripture, New Testament scholarly treatises, early church writings, films such as The Passion of the Christ and other novels such as the Left Behind series. Mix it all together and add a sprinkling of noncanonical apocrypha, and what emerges is a provocative story that will surely light the fires of both the imagination as well as many fundamentalist Christian book burning parties.

Rice returned to Christianity and her childhood Roman Catholic faith in 1998 after nearly dying from a diabetic coma. She has warned readers on her website that they “may not want what I’m doing next,” and recently promised that “from now on, I would write only for the Lord.” In the book’s afterword, she writes, “I was ready to do violence to my career.” It will be interesting to see whether her legions of fans accustomed to her lush prose and homoerotic characters will develop a new loyalty to what Rice calls “the ultimate supernatural hero…the ultimate immortal of them all.”

What will be even more interesting to watch is the reaction of Christians, particularly evangelical Protestants. While many will be unable to see past her history of gothic bloodletting and soft core S&M (not to mention her Catholicism), other born agains may hitch a ride to a new work that, while not flawless, at least portrays Christ in a positive light. After all, there is precedent. As this and other biblical fiction continue to come to market, Christians will need to grapple with the question of whether or not such imaginative works add to or detract from the life of faith.

First Bono and Bush together, now the queen of the occult finding God and painting portraits of the Christ child–perhaps the “breaking in” reign of Christ is really starting to pick up some steam. One thing is for sure, though. Lestat will no doubt be watching these developments and keeping his eye on the “new kid in town.” Who knows, maybe someday he will even develop a taste for a different type of blood–that of Redemption.

  1. Hoots Musings

    Oh wow Mike, thanks for the great post. I will get the book, I am betting it is a good read.

    Funny how God does not remember the past, but humans do. I wish all the best to Ms. Rice and I know God will bless her for her committment.

  2. LED Torch

    my sister and i loves to read christian books because it inspires us to live life in its fullest ~,:

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