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Years ago, before the Bush administration deconstructed New Orleans with the fury of a Cat 4 hurricane, we visited the houses and locales of Anne Rice. My beautiful daughter, car sick from the winding New Orleans roads and my now dead (the good they die young) brother-in-law’s driving (he drove like a Cuban because he was) emerged from our rental to leave a note at the mansion gates, the house which was the model for the Mayfair witches’ house, which read “I love your world,” referring to the first of the Vampire Chronicles. Then she vomited on the sidewalk before the ornate black fence. Two gifts, one crafted, one spontaneous, from her young soul to the altar of literature.

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