Anne Rice, the author of the gothic novel Interview with the Vampire, has died at the age of 80.

The writer died surrounded by her family on Saturday night (11 December) from complications resulting from a stroke.

Her son, Christopher, confirmed the news in a statement on her public Facebook page, writing: “Dearest People of Page. This is Anne’s son Christopher and it breaks my heart to bring you this sad news. Earlier tonight, Anne passed away due to complications resulting from a stroke. She left us almost nineteen years to the day my father, her husband Stan, died.”

He added: “The immensity of our family’s grief cannot be overstated. As my mother, her support for me was unconditional — she taught me to embrace my dreams, reject conformity and challenge the dark voices of fear and self-doubt. As a writer, she taught me to defy genre boundaries and surrender to my obsessive passions.

“In her final hours, I sat beside her hospital bed in awe of her accomplishments and her courage, awash in memories of a life that took us from the fog laced hills of the San Francisco Bay Area to the magical streets of New Orleans to the twinkling vistas of Southern California.”

The full statement can be read below.

Rice published her first novel, Interview with the Vampire in 1976. It was a bestseller and adapted into a film starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst.

The New Orleans-born author started writing sequels to her debut in the 1980s, forming a series called The Vampire Chronicles. Another of her books from the series, Queen of the Damned, was adapted into a film in 2002.

Rice has also written erotic fiction under the pseudonyms Anne Rampling and AN Roquelaure, including Exit to Eden, which was later adapted into a 1994 film.

Rice’s books have sold over 150 million copies, making her one of the most popular and best-selling authors of all time.

She was married to poet and painter Stan Rice for 41 years until his death from brain cancer in 2002.

She and Stan had two children, Michele, who died of leukemia at age five, and Christopher, who is also an author.

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