Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende biography

Isabel Allende biography

Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, with United States nationality, which is part of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 2004. She is recognized for having obtained the national literature prize in her country in 2010 and is considered one of the most widely read writers in the world of literature.

She was born on August 2, 1942, in Lima, Peru and is the daughter of Tomás Allende Pesse who was secretary of the Chilean Embassy in Peru and cousin of Salvador Allende who was president of Chile in the period 1970-1973, and Francisca Llona Barros. She has Basque ancestry on the part of her father’s family and on the part of her mother, Portuguese, Castilian and Basque ancestry. Due to the separation of her parents in 1945, Isabel moved to Chile with her mother and two brothers, where she lived from 1946 to 1953. At the end of 1953, her family traveled to Bolivia and settled in La Paz, where she started his studies in an American school, then moved to a private school in which she studied English in the city of Lebanon.

In 1959, Isabel Allende returned to Chile and was reunited with a childhood friend named Miguel Farías, with whom she had a romantic relationship and married in 1963 for the first time. They had two children of Chilean nationality, Paula their eldest daughter and Nicolás the youngest. In 1973 she had to leave Chile due to the coup d’état his relative Salvador Allende on September 11 of that same year, and she settled in Venezuela until 1988.

Isabel began a number of trips promoting her books, so she did not have much time to share with her husband and this made her want to separate. However, she tried to lead a new love life and she married for the second time on July 7, 1988, with lawyer Willie Gordon in the United States. His second marriage, lasted 27 years and separated in 2015.



In the period from 1959 to 1965, she was employed at the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (OFA) and during the following years, she was touring Europe, where she lived in Brussels and Switzerland. Her skills and abilities in literature allowed her to take over part of the writing of Paula magazine while investigating various topics of which she made publications.

Between the years 1973 and 1974 she was substitute director of the magazine Mampato and published the stories for children “The grandmother Panchita and lauchas” and “Lauchones, rats, and mice” in addition to an excellent collection of articles called “Civilize your troglodyte.” For these years, Isabel also worked in the theater, in which she participated in the works: The ballad of the half hair, I am the Transit Soto and the seven mirrors.

During his stay in Venezuela in 1982, Isabel worked in the National newspaper of Caracas and in a high school, in that same year she published the book “The House of Spirits” which was his best-known novel worldwide. This novel arose after the idea of ​​writing a letter to her grandfather who was soon to die in 1981. The reception of her novel was so great, that it was adapted to the cinema by Bille August. In 1984 she published her second novel entitled “De Amor y de Sombra” which also set a record in sales and was taken to the movies in 1994 as well as The House of the Spirits.

The beginning of the decade of the nineties began with the tribute in which she was distinguished with the order of educational and cultural merit Gabriela Mistral in 1990 by President Patricio Aylwin. In 1994 she published her book “Paula” in honor of her eldest daughter who died in 1992 because of a porphyria and in 1996 in honor of it opened the foundation “The Isabel Allende Foundation.”

By the beginning of 2000, Isabel received the National Prize of Literature of Chile in 2010, thanks to the excellence of her works in the world of literature, she was the fourth woman in history to take this award. In 2011 she was distinguished for her great abilities as a magic storyteller and her ability to attract audiences with the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Prize.

Every time Isabel Allende writes a book, she imagines and generates an epoch, a place and characters that make history happen by itself, that is to say that she has not planned her works, but makes an inspiration from the moment; a clear example of this is that most of his books have had as starting point letters or personal experiences. Isabel was always characterized by versatility and by writing about all kinds of subjects, in 2012 she treated the police novel and wrote “El Juego de Ripper” a book that she published at the beginning of 2014.

In addition to “The House of the Spirits” and “Of Love and Shadows” which have been works that were taken to the movies, “El Zorro” was another of her works that was adapted in this case it became a musical and “Una Venganza” which became an adaptation to opera and ballet.


Other literary works of Isabel Allende and year of publication:

  • Grandma Panchita, published in 1974
  • La porcelain fat, published in 1984
  • Eva Luna, in 1987
  • Eva Luna, in 1990
  • The infinite plan, published in 1990
  • Paula, in 1994
  • Afrodita, in 1997
  • Retrato Sepia, published in the year 2000 and reissued in 2011
  • The city of the beasts, in 2002 and reissued in 2004
  • The dragon kingdom of gold, in 2002
  • The legend begins, published in 2015
  • Inés de alma mía, in 2006
  • The sum of the days, in 2007
  • The lovers of the Guggenheim, 2007
  • The office of telling, 2007
  • I tell you the island under the sea, in 2009
  • The notebook of Maya, published in 2011
  • Amor, in 2012

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