Biting Back
November 6, 2001

Twenty years after The Hunger, a sequel retains its homoerotic heritage

by Christopher Wynn,
The Advocate

If you didn’t read Whitley Strieber’s The Hunger, you undoubtedly saw the stylish film starring Catherine Deneuve, Susan Sarandon, and David Bowie. Strieber’s new book, The Last Vampire (Pocket Books, $24.95), reunites us with Deneuve’s character, the beautiful and deadly Miriam Blaylock. The time has come for the vampires’ centennial conclaves, and Miriam is searching for a suitable mate to help her conceive a child. Instead, she stumbles on Interpol agent Paul Ward, whose secret vampire extermination team threatens to destroy Miriam and her entire race. A dangerous global game of cat and mouse ensues, blurring the line between good and evil and leaving room for only one survivor.
     Miriam, with her yen for a truly “alternative family,” has achieved cult status among gays and lesbians, and no wonder: “I explore homoerotic themes in my vampire novels because they are, on one level, about a deeper freedom than we allow ourselves,” Strieber tells The Advocate. “When we step out into a ‘nonhuman’ character, the rules are different. Miriam is truly free sexually because our cultural limitations have no meaning for her. She explores whatever she chooses to explore, seeking within and without for happiness, without filtering her desires through a false morality.”
     Strieber concludes, “We should all be like Miriam—sexually, that is. Her diet is another matter.”

© 2001 The Adocate
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