Isabel Allende

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Isabel Allende (born August 2, 1942) is a Chilean writer.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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