rhetoric and, as a result, gained sufficient momentum to be noted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton as “the greatest revolution the world has ever known.”
Lisa R. Williams
Isabel Allende was born in 1942 in Lima, Peru, the daughter of a Chilean diplomat. By 1945, her parents had ended their marriage, and Isabel returned to Chile with her mother and siblings to live for a time with her maternal grandparents who become the models for Esteban and Clara Trueba in her first novel, The House of the Spirits (1982). She spent her formative years in Bolivia, Europe, and the Middle East with her mother and diplomat stepfather. Allende began her professional career as a TV journalist and a writer for a feminist magazine, but that career and life were interrupted by the overthrow of the Socialist government run by her uncle Salvador Allende in 1973. Soon after the takeover in Chile, she fled to Venezuela with her family. Allende now lives in California. In addition to her best-known work The House of the Spirits (1982), Allende has also written Of Love and Shadows (1984), Eva Luna (1985), The Stories of Eva Luna (1989), The Infinite Plan (1991), Paula (1994), Aphrodite (1997), Daughter of Fortune (1999), Portrait in Sepia (2001), a young adult novel, City of the Beasts (2002), and My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile (2003).
Her first novel, The House of the Spirits, is the story of three generations of women and the man around whose life they revolve. Critics were quick to recognize the similarities of the novel to Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and its multigenerational Buendía family. The House of the Spirits does begin as a tale of magical realism but shifts, as Robert Antoni notes, “from family saga (fantasy), to love story, to political history” (22) as the novel chronicles first Clara's story, then Blanca's, and finally Alba's.