Isabel Allende


Isabel Allende 2005
Isabel Allende 2005. Caroline Schiff/Getty Images

Dates: August 2, 1942 -

Occupation: novelist, writer, journalist; niece of Chilean president Salvador Allende Gossens

Known for: novels using magic realism

About Isabel Allende:

Isabel Allende was born in Lima, Peru. Her Chilean diplomat father and her mother divorced and she lived with her mother and grandparents. She worked first as a secretary and then as a journalist in print, on television and in movie documentaries.

After the overthrow and assassination in 1973 of her uncle, Salvador Allende, president of Chile, Isabel Allende and her husband and children left for safety in Venezuela.

It was in her exile that she began to write The House of the Spirits, her first novel, which was based on her own family and the politics of Chile.

She continued to produce novels based in part on her own experience, often focusing on the experience of women, weaving myth and realism together. She has lectured and done extensive book tours, and has taught literature at colleges in Virginia, New Jersey and California.

Her 1995 work, Paula, is based on the extended coma and death of her daughter in 1992.

She was divorced from her first husband, Miguel Frías, an engineer. In 1988, she married William Gordon, a lawyer.

By Isabel Allende:

  • Aphrodite - A Memoir of the Senses. Paperback. 1997.
  • Afrodita: Cuentos, Recetas y Otros Afrodisíacos. Paperback. 1996.
  • Daughter of Fortune. Paperback. 1998.
  • Daughter of Fortune. Hardcover. 1997.
  • Hija de la Fortuna. Hardcover. 1997.
  • The Stories of Eva Luna. Paperback. 1992.
  • Cuentos de Eva Luna (Eva Luna Stories). Paperback. 1986.
  • Eva Luna (edición en español). Paperback. 1999.
  • Eva Luna. Paperback. 1998.
  • La Gorda de Porcelana/The Porcelain Fat Lady. Short story for children. 1984.
  • House of Spirits. Paperback. 1986.
  • The House of the Spirits. Hardcover. 1986.
  • La casa de los espiâritus.
  • The Infinite Plan - A Novel. Paperback. 1992.
  • El plan infinito. Paperback. 1986.
  • Of Love and Shadows. Paperback. 1988.
  • De amor y de sombra. Paperback. 1986.
  • Paula. Paperback. 1994.
  • Paula. Spanish edition. Paperback. 1993.
  • Portrait in Sepia - A Novel. Hardcover. 2001.
  • Retrato En Sepia - Una Novela. Hardcover. 2001.
  • Giving Birth, Finding Form - 3 Writers Explore Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Art. Audio.
  • Mothers and Sons - In Their Own Words. Mariana Cook, photographer. Introduction by Isabel Allende.
  • Isabel Allende and William Zinsser. Paths of Resistance - The Art and Craft of the Political Novel.
  • Rodden, John and Isabel Allende. Conversations With Isabel Allende (Texas Pan American Series). Paperback.
  • Tipton, James and Isabel Allende.Letters from a Stranger. 1999.

In anthologies:

  • Short Stories by Latin American Women - The Magic and the Real. 1990.

About Isabel Allende or her writing:

  • Morris, Barbara. Famous People of Hispanic Heritage-Volume Nine; Oscar de La Hoya, Isabel Allende, Roy Benavidez, Jackie Guerra.
  • Zapata, Celia C. Isabel Allende: Vida y Espíritu. 1998.

Places: Peru, Chile, Venezuela, United States

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