When I was a teenager, my mom gave me a book with a royal blue cover, raised silver lettering, and a spine so broken as to be almost illegible. A mass market paperback with yellowed pages that threatened to liberate themselves from the glue binding them and the distinct scent of old paper. Its outsides rich with phrases like “a voluptuous dream” and “unrelentingly erotic.” Its insides with blood and wine and teeth. With vampires.
I was probably too young to be reading Interview with the Vampire, but I devoured it and the seven other extant books of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles with only one lingering question: did my mom know how gay these books were?