About Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende Llona is a Chilean-American novelist whose novels weave myth and realism. They are based partly on her own experiences and the experiences of women who have influenced her life. She received the H.C. Andersen Literature Award in 2012.

Isabel Allende (born in 1942) is a Chilean-American writer, whose writing sometimes contains aspects of the “magic realist” tradition. Allende, the daughter of a Chilean career diplomat, was born in Lima, Peru.

Her father was the first cousin of Salvador Allende, President of Chile from 1970 to 1973, making the former head of state Isabel’s first cousin once removed. As a result, she was heavily influenced by the political tragedies that took place under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

In 1945, her father abandoned the family, and Allende, her mother, and her siblings began a period of wandering from Bolivia to Beirut. Finally, her mother returned with her three children to her parents’ house in Chile. Her grandmother’s interest in fortune telling, astrology, and the stories she told impressed Isabel deeply.

While in Caracas In 1981, Allende learned that her 99-year-old grandfather was near death. She wrote him a farewell letter, hoping to “keep him alive, at least in spirit.” The letter grew into a book, The House of the Spirits (1982). The work was meant to exorcise the ghosts of the Pinochet dictatorship.

Since then, she has written more than 20 works of fiction, non-fiction, essays, memoirs, and children’s literature, which have been translated into 35 languages and have sold nearly 70 million copies.

Her fiction is “realistic literature,” rooted in her remarkable upbringing and the mystical people and events that fueled her imagination. Her writing is informed equally by her feminist convictions, her commitment to social justice, and the harsh political realities that shaped her destiny.

She portrays fantastical events side by side with realistic historical and contemporary circumstances, and in doing so, reveals the magical in this unmagical world.

In addition to her work as a writer, Allende devotes much of her time to supporting human rights. Following the death of her daughter Paula in 1992, she established a charitable foundation in her honor dedicated to the protection and empowerment of women and girls worldwide. Allende has received dozens of international tributes and awards over the past 30 years.