Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende, 1942–, Chilean novelist. Since the 1973 coup that deposed her cousin, President Salvador Allende Gossens, Isabel Allende, who is among the most notable contemporary Chilean writers, has lived abroad, for many years in California. Her fiction is distinguished by its fusion of traditional realism with both the fantastic and with political (including feminist) concerns. Her first and best-known novel, The House of Spirits (1982, tr. 1985), which reflects the influence of Gabriel García Márquez and the technique of magic realism (her work has been called "magical feminism" by some critics), tells the story of a Chilean family over three generations. Allende's fiction also includes Of Love and Shadows (1984, tr. 1987); Eva Luna (1987, tr. 1988); The Infinite Plan (1991, tr. 1993), her first work set in the United States; Daughter of Fortune (1998, tr. 1999); Portrait in Sepia (2001); Inés of My Soul (2006), the fictionalized life of a 16th-century conquistadora; and Island beneath the Sea (2010), a tale of the 18th-century Haitian slave revolution.

See her memoirs, Paula (1994, tr. 1995), Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses (1997, tr. 1998), and My Invented Country (2003); J. Rodden, ed., Conversations with Isabel Allende (1999, repr. 2004); studies by W. Zinsser (1989), P. Hart (1989), S. R. Rojas and E. Aguirre, ed. (1991), R. G. Feal and Y. E. Miller, ed. (2002), L. G. Levine (2002), H. Bloom, ed. (2003), and K. C. Cox (2003).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Isabel Allende: Life and Spirits
Celia Correas Zapata.
Arte Publico, 2002
Isabel Allende: A Critical Companion
Karen Castellucci Cox.
Greenwood Press, 2003
The Post-Boom in Spanish American Fiction
Donald L. Shaw.
State University of New York Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Isabel Allende"
Latin American Women's Writing: Feminist Readings in Theory and Crisis
Anny Brooksbank Jones; Catherine Davies.
Clarendon Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Wandering Text: Situating the Narratives of Isabel Allende"
Unscrambling Allende's "Dos Palabras": The Self, the Immigrant/writer, and Social Justice
Umpierre, Luz Maria.
MELUS, Vol. 27, No. 4, Winter 2002
Magical Places in Isabel Allende's Eva Luna and Cuentos De Eva Luna
Buedel, Barbara Foley.
West Virginia University Philological Papers, Vol. 52, Fall 2006
Women Shapeshifters: Transforming the Contemporary Novel
Thelma J. Shinn.
Greenwood Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Magic Realism: Isabel Allende"
Authorizing Female Voice and Experience: Ghosts and Spirits in Kingston's 'The Woman Warrior' and Allende's 'The House of the Spirits.'(Intertextualities)
Jenkins, Ruth Y.
MELUS, Vol. 19, No. 3, Fall 1994
Latin-American Women Writers: Class, Race, and Gender
Myriam Yvonne Jehenson.
State University of New York Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Isabel Allende" begins on p. 99
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