Lecturer Dodie Bellamy: On History and Endurance

Friday, April 05, 2019

ART PRACTICAL (SAN FRANCISCO) -- In the ’80s I would see Anne Rice in the Castro, strolling down the street in a pleated plaid skirt and a blue blazer, drenched in strong perfume. With her thick bangs and long straight black hair, she looked like an oversized Catholic school girl. I was enthralled, couldn’t believe I was sharing the same sidewalk as she. Rice was a faculty wife at San Francisco State, and then in 1976 when Interview with the Vampire was published, she became the most famous writer in America.

In 1988 she left San Francisco for New Orleans, her birthplace. I too should have left a long time ago. Artists who care about their careers never stay in the city which raised them because they cannot control the narrative. There are eyes that see not the me of today, but a flailing girl with raging, uncontrollable emotions. “They take me seriously in London or New York,” I want to shout.