The Acadians (French: Acadiens) are the descendants of the 17th-century French colonists who settled in Acadia (located in the Canadian Maritime provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island — and some of the American state of Maine). Although today both Acadians and French-Canadian Québécois are francophone Canadians, Acadia was founded in a geographically separate region from Quebec ("Canada" at this time) leading to their two distinct cultures. The settlers whose descendants became Acadians did not necessarily all come from the same region in France. Acadian family names have come from many areas in France from the Maillets of Paris to the Leblancs of Normandy. Some Acadian families did not even originate in France, for example the popular Acadian surname 'Melanson' (originally 'Mallinson') has its roots in England and those with the Surname 'Bastrache' or 'Basque' can find their origin in Pays Basque ("Basque Country") which is located between France and Spain.
In the Great Expulsion of 1755, around 4000 to 5000 Acadians were deported from Acadia by the British; many later settled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns. Later on many Acadians returned to the Maritime provinces of Canada, most specifically New Brunswick. During the British conquest of New France the French colony of Acadia was renamed Nova Scotia (meaning New Scotland). Today Acadians are a vibrant minority, particularly in New Brunswick and Louisiana (Cajuns). Since 1994, Le Congrès Mondial Acadien has united Acadians of the Maritimes, New England, and Louisiana. (read more . . . )
Anne Rice (born on October 4, 1941) is a best-selling American author of gothic and later religious themed books. Best known for her Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.
Rice was born and spent most of her early life in New Orleans, Louisiana, which forms the background against which most of her stories take place. She was the second daughter in a Catholic Irish-American family; Rice's sister, Alice Borchardt, also became a noted genre author.
She completed her first book, Interview with the Vampire, in 1973 and published it in 1976. This book would be the first in Rice's popular Vampire Chronicles series, which includes 1985's The Vampire Lestat and 1988's The Queen of the Damned. Rice has also published adult-oriented fiction under the pen name Anne Rampling, and has written explicit sado-masochistic erotica as A.N. Roquelaure.
Her fiction is often described as lush and descriptive, and her characters' sexuality is fluid, often displaying homoerotic feelings towards each other. Rice said that the bisexuality was what she was looking for in her characters; a love beyond gender especially with the Vampire Chronicles because the vampires were not of human society, therefore did not go by the expectations of that society. She also weaves philosophical and historic themes into the dense pattern of her books. To her admirers, Rice's books are among the best in modern popular fiction, possessing those elements that create a lasting presence in the literary canon. To her critics, her novels are baroque, "low-brow pulp" and redundant. A critical analysis of Rice's work can be found in S. T. Joshi's book The Modern Weird Tale (2001). (read more . . . )