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- Because she lived under the big umbrella of my grandfather and she didn't have any education - she had three kids, had been abandoned by her husband, had no money - it was a horrible life. The only way she could get attention from her father or anybody else was by being sick. She didn't do it consciously. As a child I felt impotent and guilty because I felt that I couldn't help her in any way.
- On her mother’s upbringing in “The undefeated” in The Guardian (2017 Apr 28)
- Thank God – because what are you going to write about if you don’t struggle as a child? I don’t think that you become creative because you have struggled, no, but creative people are fuelled by anger and passion, and haunted by demons and memories.
- On how her miserable childhood may have inadvertently affected her writing in “The incredible life of Isabel Allende” in The Telegraph (2014 Jan 28)
- It would have been much better if I had started [writing novels] at 19. But I couldn't. I had to support a family, I wasn't ready. And I think I needed to lose my country to start writing, because The House of the Spirits is an attempt to recreate the country I had lost, the family I had lost.
- On her novel The House of Spirits in “The undefeated” in The Guardian (2017 Apr 28)
- The theme of displacement is very natural for me. It always comes up in my books because I have been a foreigner all my life and I don’t feel I belong anywhere. I’m an immigrant.
- On how her sense of self remains tied to her native country in “Isabel Allende: 'Few couples survive the death of one child, let alone three'” in The Guardian (2015 Dec 2)
- I imagined the structure of the novel like a braid. My job was to blend three strands evenly and neatly. Each piece of the braid represented one of the stories. The characters were very different but they had something in common: they were emotionally wounded by events of their past.
- On her work In the Midst of Winter in “INTERVIEWS: Isabel Allende” in BookPage (2017 Oct 31)
- I never try to give a message in my fiction. When I see that an author is trying to preach to me in a novel, I feel insulted. If I find a message, it should come between the lines; I will discover it if it resonates with me. The ideas, feelings and experiences of the author appear unavoidably in the writing.
- On her In the Midst of Winter exemplifies feminism in “INTERVIEWS: Isabel Allende” in BookPage (2017 Oct 31)