Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: (Hugo) Alvar (Henrik) Aalto (1898–1976) Biography to Miguel Angel Asturias (1899–1974) Biography » Isabel Allende: 1942—: Novelist Biography - Worked As Advice Columnist, Based Novel On Pinochet Dictatorship, Novels Link United States And Latin America

Isabel Allende: 1942—: Novelist - Based Novel On Pinochet Dictatorship

eva spirits house luna


Although The House of the Spirits took place in an unnamed country, Allende's second novel, Of Love and Shadows (De amor y de sombra,) was specifically situated in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship. It tells the story of two journalists who are forced into exile after investigating a military-sponsored murder of a young woman who has seemingly miraculous powers that have allowed her to defy their commands. Drawn on actual events, the novel combined magical realism with scenes of Latin American life in much the same way as The House of the Spirits, but seemed more closely identified with Allende's own career.

The House of the Spirits was translated into English in 1985 (it was made into a film in 1994), and began to gain wide attention in the United States; translated into other languages as well, it became a best seller in several European countries. Allende won several new-author awards and was brought to the United States for a promotional tour as Of Love and Shadows was released. After giving a reading in San Jose, California, Allende met a U.S. lawyer, William Gordon; the two later married, and Allende continues to make her home in northern California.

Allende remained steadily productive through the 1990s, experimenting with new forms and settings and consistently holding the interests of critics who, even if they did not give Allende universal acclaim, kept her in the literary limelight. Allende's novel Eva Luna and its successor volume of short fiction The Stories of Eva Luna (Los cuentos de Eva Luna) feature a South American writer who becomes involved with an Austrian immigrant who is the son of a former Nazi (many Nazis fled to South America after World War II). Her 1993 novel The Infinite Plan (El plan infinito), however, was set in her adopted country, with a male, Anglo-American central figure who grows up in a poor, mainly Hispanic neighborhood in Los Angeles. Paula (1995) was a nonfiction work about the death of Allende's daughter, and in 1997 Allende published Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses (Afrodite: Recetas, cuentos y otros afrodisiacos), an unusual mixture of autobiography, essays, and cookbook.


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