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Called Out of Darkness

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Called Out of Darkness

A Spiritual Confession
by Anne Rice
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Anne Rice's first work of nonfiction--a powerful and haunting memoir that explores her continuing spiritual transformation.Anne Rice was raised in New Orleans as the devout child in a deeply religious...
Anne Rice's first work of nonfiction--a powerful and haunting memoir that explores her continuing spiritual transformation.Anne Rice was raised in New Orleans as the devout child in a deeply religious...
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Description-
  • Anne Rice's first work of nonfiction--a powerful and haunting memoir that explores her continuing spiritual transformation.

    Anne Rice was raised in New Orleans as the devout child in a deeply religious Irish Catholic family. Here, she describes how, as she grew up, she lost her belief in God, but not her desire for a meaningful life. She used her novels--beginning with Interview with a Vampire--to wrestle with otherworldly themes while in her own life, she experienced both loss (the death of her daughter and, later, her beloved husband, Stan Rice) and joys (the birth of her son, Christopher). And she writes about how, finally, after years of questioning, she experienced the intense conversion and re-embracing of her faith that lie behind her most recent novels about the life of Christ.

    From the Trade Paperback edition.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One This book is about faith in God.

    For more than twenty centuries, Christianity has given us dazzling works of theology, yet it remains a religion in which the heart is absolutely essential to faith.

    The appeal of Jesus Christ was first and foremost to the heart.

    The man knocked on his back on the Road to Damascus experienced a transformation of the heart. St. Francis of Assisi, giving away all of his clothes as he turned to follow Christ, was reflecting a decision of the heart. Mother Teresa founded her world-famous order of nuns because of a decision of the heart.

    The immensity of these figures finds an imperfect student in me, but not an inattentive one.

    I want to tell, as simply as I can--and nothing with me as a writer has ever really been simple--the story of how I made my decision of the heart.

    So here is the story of one path to God.

    The story has a happy ending because I have found the Transcendent God both intellectually and emotionally. And complete belief in Him and devotion to Him, no matter how interwoven with occasional fear and constant personal failure and imperfection, has become the true story of my life.

    If this path to God is an illusion, then the story is worthless. If the path is real, then we have something here that may matter to you as well as to me.

    2

    Before I can describe how I returned to faith, at the age of fifty-seven, I want to describe how I learned about God as a child.

    What strikes me now as most important about this experience is that it preceded reading books. Christians are People of the Book, and our religion is often described as a Religion of the Book. And for two thousand years, all that we believe has been handed down in texts.

    But no doubt many children learned about God as I did--from my mother and from the experience of church which had little or nothing directly to do with knowing how to read.

    Over the years, I turned out to be a consistently poor reader, and I don't think I ever read a novel for pleasure until I was in the sixth grade. Even in my college years, I was a poor reader and, in fact, couldn't major in English because I could not read the amounts of Chaucer or Shakespeare assigned in the classes. I graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in political science, principally because I could understand the historic background I received for political ideas through good lectures.

    I was twenty-seven before I began to make up an undergraduate degree in English, and thirty-one before I received a master's in English. Even then I read so slowly and poorly that I took my master's orals on three authors, Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and Ernest Hemingway, without having read all of their works. I couldn't possibly read all of their works.

    The reason I'm emphasizing this is because I believe that what we learn through reading is essentially different from what we learn in other ways. And my concept of God came through the spoken words of my mother, and also the intensely beautiful experiences I had in church.

    It's important to stress here that my earliest experiences involved beauty; my strongest memories are of beautiful things I saw, things which evoked such profound feeling in me that I often felt pain.

    In fact I remember my early childhood as full of beauty, and no ugly moment from that time has any reality for me. The beauty is the song of those days.

    I vividly remember knowing about God, that He loved us, made us, took care of us, that we belonged to Him; and I remember loving Jesus as God; and praying to Him and to His Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, when I was very small.

    I can't really...
About the Author-
  • Anne Rice is the author of twenty-eight books. She lives in Rancho Mirage, California.

    From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews-
  • Chicago Sun-Times

    "[A] very affecting story of a well-known prodigal's return. . . . Called Out of Darkness is the vivid, engaging tale of the journey of a soul into light."

  • Christianity Today "Rice couples her writing talents with the zeal of a recent convert."
  • Time "Rice could rival C.S. Lewis as a popular apologist for the faith."
  • Los Angeles Times "Rice's memoir shows what true belief really involves. It exacts a price. James Agee had a lovely term for this. He called it 'cruel radiance.'"
  • First Things "Anne Rice is not a convert but a revert. . . . A loving reconstruction of the pre--Vatican II Church of the 1940s and 1950s. . . . [After] twenty-five years and twenty-one books . . . Rice entrusts both herself and the people she loves to God."
  • East Bay Literary Examiner "Called Out of Darkness is rich in both poetic simplicity and liberating confessionals. This memoir is not to be missed."
  • Jamieson Wolf "I am not a Christian and I normally don't read what I would call Christian books. They don't appeal to me, they don't interest me and I normally pass them by in the bookstore. . . . [But] I picked up [Called Out of Darkness] up this afternoon and it's beyond wonderful."
  • BookReporter.com "As a long-time reader of Anne Rice's, the impetus she presents here makes me want to re-read many of her prior works. I highly recommend this book to anyone who seeks the inspiration and motivation behind the bestselling novels they've read."
  • Flos Carmeli "Nothing short of magnificent. . . . What a real blessing, what a vulnerable sharing."
  • Edge (Provincetown, MA) "Even if you don't consider yourself to be a religious person--even if you are not a Christian--read this book. Anyone can appreciate the message contained in Called Out of Darkness. . . . It is a thinking person's approach to faith."
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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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