Who is Isabel Allende?

Isabel Allende

Life's work: An interview with Isabel Allende. Drew Kelly, Harvard Business Review. (2017, September 7). Retrieved July 16, 2022, from https://hbr.org/2016/05/isabel-allende

On August 2, 1942, Isabel Allende was born in Lima, Peru. She is a Chilean-American author who has embraced the magic realism movement and is now regarded as one of Latin America’s most successful female writers. Allende’s path that led her to literary success started with a tremendous tragedy that shaped much of what happened in the near future. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022).

How did Isabel Allende start?

Her Chilean parents gave birth to Allende in Peru. She was a journalist in Chile up to the killing of her father’s cousin, Chilean President Salvador Allende, in 1973, when she was forced to relocate to Venezuela. She started composing a letter to her dying grandfather in 1981, and that letter eventually turned into her debut book, La Casa de Los Espritus, which was published in 1982. The novel generated such rabid reactions that a film adaptation was released later in 1993. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022).

How did Allende continue after her first novel?

After the success that struck after her first beloved novel, this inspired Allende to keep on writing more books. Books such as De Amor y de Sombra (1984; Of Love and Shadows; film 1994), Eva Luna (1987), and El plan infinito (1991; The Infinite Plan) and the collection of stories Cuentos de Eva Luna (1990; The Stories of Eva Luna). (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022).

What is magic realism?

Within Allende’s writing, she has mostly focused on themes such as magic realism. Magic realism is a literary genre that presents reality as having magic or fantastical undertones integrated within the world the author has created.
The distinction between imagination and reality is hazy in magical realism books and short stories, much like in fairy tales. For example, the universe is still based on reality in a composition of magical realism, but fantastical aspects are seen as ordinary in this realm. (Neil Gaiman, MasterClass, 2021).

Within Isabel Allende’s work, there are many instances of magic realism, which is genuine literature with aspects of mythology and imagination layered on top. Her first four works are autobiographical and explore the place of women in Latin America, and she is concerned with how South American politics is portrayed in several of her pieces. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022).

Why should you read Isabel Allende?

If given the opportunity to pick up a good read, any book by Isabel Allende is an exhilarating pick. Not only does her work have the ability to transport any reader to new and exciting worlds, but the feminist and empowering themes that include a generous dash of creative imagination are enough to keep a reader hooked. What is even better is that, for a beginner Spanish speaker, reading Allende’s work in the original Spanish text presents an advantageous chance for any individual who wishes to practice their Spanish and perfect the language.

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