Isabel Allende is a famous Chilean-American author, and her books have been translated into many languages. Here is everything you need to know about her.
Best books by Isabel Allende
Have you heard of Isabel Allende? She is one of the most popular Spanish-language novelists. Want to learn more about her works? Here’s everything you need to know about her books and her incredible life.
Highlighting Chilean literature author Isabel Allende
Isabel Allende was born in Lima, Peru in 1942, but her family moved to Chile in 1945. Isabel then lived in Bolivia and Lebanon before coming back to Chile in 1958. Allende is one of the most famous Chilean writers. Her books offer elements of magical realism, and she was named the world’s most widely-read Spanish-language author.
Since Isabel is related to Salvador Allende who was a socialist president between 1970 and 1973, she had to escape the country and live in Venezuela for more than a decade. Salvadore Allende was overthrown during a military coup led by Pinochet, and it had a huge impact on her life.
Over the years, Isabel Allende published over twenty books, which were translated into English and over 40 other languages, and sold over 75 million copies. She is often compared to Gabriel García Márquez.
How Isabel Allende’s personal background inspires her writing style
The greatness of Isabel Allende’s writing is in the fact that there is something for everyone. If you love fiction books, there are numerous options to choose from. And even if you love non-fiction stories, you can still enjoy reading this incredible Chilean author.
These stories from her life often served as an inspiration for her writing—most notably, in her memoir My Invented Country from 2003. But other novels also have elements borrowed from her life in Chile, Venezuela, and the USA.
Allende was granted U.S. citizenship in 1993, and she has two children. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014 by President Barack Obama, an honorary title Doctor of Humane Letters from San Francisco State University, and other accolades.
How Isabel Allende’s most famous works
While there are so many books that you may enjoy, there are a few that stand out from the crowd. This doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy other novels she wrote, and they are undoubtedly worth checking out.
Isabel Allende also received numerous awards for her novels, starting in 1982 for her debut novel The House of the Spirits. Each book offers something a bit different. She won awards in the U.S., Mexico, Chile (Santiago), Germany, Italy, Portugal, and many other countries.
The House of the Spirits
The House of the Spirits, originally titled La casa de los espíritus, came out in 1982 as Allende’s debut novel. What is interesting is that several publishers refused to print the book before Isabel found one in Buenos Aires. The book became an instant bestseller.
What’s interesting about the novel is that it’s a combination of magical realism with elements from her own life. The story follows the Trueba family, and it covers four generations. It’s told through the perspective of two main characters Esteban and Alba.
Paula is a novel that came out in 1994, and it is a memoir Isabel Allende wrote about the darkest moments of her life. It is a step in a different direction, and Paula is the first non-fictional novel Allende published.
The name of the novel came from Isabel’s daughter Paula Frías Allende and how she had to take care of her while her daughter was in a coma. This emotional story is in the form of letters, where Isabel explains what is happening around the world and what her daughter was missing so she won’t be confused when she wakes up.
There are also a few overlapping moments with The House of the Spirits, and it is a powerful story you need to check out.
Isabel’s social engagement and political activism
One of the first things to mention is that Isabel Allende started her own foundation in 1996 called Isabel Allende Foundation. She started the foundation in honor of her daughter, who died from complications of porphyria. Isabel’s daughter Paula was 29 when she died.
The primary mission of the foundation is to help women and children to feel protected and empowered, and it promotes fundamental rights. But this is not the only form of activism Isabel is known for.
She is also a feminist, and she has been working on helping women since she was twenty. It only shows that Isabel Allende is not only an incredible writer but also an inspirational human that aims to help others.
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If you like the idea of Latin American authors and want to explore other incredible novels, you can always check out Speechify’s audiobook platform. There are so many incredible books you can find, and listening to them is quite simple.
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What is Isabel Allende most famous work?
The most famous book by Isabel Allende is also the one that made her famous. The House of Spirits has been translated into numerous languages, earned her a writer of the year title, and numerous other awards.
Some other books by Isabel Allende include:
The Soul of a Woman
Daughter of Fortune
City of the Beasts
Island Beneath the Sea
The Stories of Eva Luna
Kingdom of the Golden Dragon
The Infinite Plan
A Long Petal of the Sea (Largo pétalo de mar)
Portrait in Sepia
In the Midst of Winter (Más allá del invierno)
Of Love and Shadows
Forest of the Pygmies
Inés of My Soul (Inés del alma mía)
The Japanese Lover
The Sum of Our Days
Who is Isabel Allende?
Isabel Allende is the most popular Latin American writer. She started her writing career in 1982, and she continues publishing incredible books to this day.
What nationality is Isabel Allende?
Isabel Allende is Chilean. She was born in Lima, Peru in 1942, but she lived in Chile, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries, and she currently lives in California.