Christopher Rice comes from a family of authors. His parents are Anne Rice and the late poet Stan Rice; his aunt, Alice Borchardt, is a noted writer. He is also friends with fellow author Clive Barker. Unlike his famous mother, he does not write horror novels, but considers his books to be thrillers.
Rice has lived in New Orleans, Louisiana and is a 1996 graduate of the prestigious Isidore Newman School. Rice went on to attend Brown University and the Tisch School of the Arts. He did not graduate from either school; instead, he moved to Los Angeles to explore writing screenplays.
Rice now lives in Los Angeles, California.
Rice is gay, and his works consist of descriptions of contemporary American life for the gay male. When asked in 2002 about "being pegged a 'gay writer,'" he replied:
That's not what I do. I might be more open to that label if I hadn't introduced ensemble casts of characters. Granted, A Density of Souls is as close to a gay book as you can get. It revolves around a character's homosexuality, and others are described in terms of their reaction to the one character's sexuality. In that sense it's at the core of the book. The Snow Garden is about identity. With this book, I'm trying to shrug off the term "gay" author.Nonetheless, Rice is proud of his large following in the gay community, explaining "it was incredibly rewarding when I got a huge positive response from the character Stephen in The Density of Souls. More than a thousand young gay men contacted me and said that I captured what it was like for them going through those years. That means everything to me."
Rice also writes a regular feature for the LGBT-related biweekly news magazine The Advocate called "Coastal Disturbances," in which he discusses various topics.
A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Miramax (August 22, 2001)
Amazon: A Density of Souls
Take the sensuous, fecund New Orleans setting, add a generous helping of tangled Southern family history, and season liberally with a sensitive teenage boy rejected by his friends and frightened of his own homoerotic impulses and you wouldn't be surprised to discover that the novel containing all of the above was written by someone named Rice. But a few paragraphs into the first page, it's clear that Anne Rice's son's first novel isn't about vampires or witches and does not otherwise read like one of her exceedingly popular books. The only family resemblance is in the setting, the sexual orientation of the lovingly described male characters, and the scent of overripe magnolias.There's murder, suicide, and madness at the heart of this rather clumsycoming-of-age story, which focuses on the youthful friendship of Stephen Conlin, Meredith Ducote, Greg Darby, and Brandon Charbonnet. This friendship is destroyed by a sexual incident that takes place just before the foursome enters Cannon, an exclusive prep school. There, Stephen is ostracized by his former friends, now the most popular kids on campus, who'd just as soon forget their own complicity in the event. Envy, passion, and rage drive the narrative, but the emotions are as juvenile as the characters, and the long passages depicting the rituals and cruelties of high school, from pep rallies to football games, slow down the pace without really illuminating character or motivation. The novel reads like a roman +á clef. Rice might have been wiser to tell someone else's story rather than his own. --Jane Adams
More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels
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