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Allende, Isabel


Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


Isabel Allende has made a major intervention into Latin American and women's literature through feminist narrative writing that features important themes such as women's independence, political resistance, and migration. She has an international audience, having published 20 books, been translated into 35 languages, and sold 65 million copies worldwide. Born on August 2, 1942 in Peru to Chilean parents, Allende never lived in one place for very long during her early years, due to her diplomat stepfather's work. She made her first career as a television and magazine journalist in Chile, where, among other things, she cofounded and contributed to a women's magazine and edited a children's magazine. In 1973, the Pinochet military coup resulted in the death of Chilean president Salvador Allende, Isabel's relative. When threatened by the regime, she, along with her husband and children, fled to Venezuela. Living there for many years, Allende worked as a newspaper journalist through the mid-1980s. At the suggestion of renowned Latin American writer Pablo Neruda, Allende began writing fiction. What started as a series of letters to her dying grandfather in Chile became her first book, The House of the Spirits (1982), thus launching her literary career. Allende's second marriage took her to live in Northern California in 1987. Allende is best known for her narrative writing, particularly ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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