The life story of Isabel Allende one of the worlds favourite writers is as exotic passionate and inspiring as one of her novels. The biggest straitjacket is all the prejudices that we carry around and all the fears. But what if we just surrender to the fear? There are things greater than fear.
The great wonderful quality of human beings is that we can overcome even absolute terror and we do. Just three when her parents divorced Isabel Allende was raised in her grandparents home in Chile. She left school at 16 and married Miguel Frias at 19. She then juggled her work as a journalist editor advice columnist and television interviewer with looking after her two children.
When her uncle the Chilean president Salvador Allende was assassinated in 1973 in Pinochets rightwing military coup her life changed profoundly. It was too dangerous to stay in Chile and she her husband and their two children fled to Venezuela. During her impoverished exile she started writing The House of the Spirits. Based on her memories of her family and the political upheaval in her native country it became an international bestseller and everything changed again.
Paula Allendes book written to her dying daughter details the developments of her emotional life. My Invented Country ties these experiences into a larger political and geographical framework making her life at once exotic and comprehensible its events at once historical and immediate.
'Allende's writing is so vivid we smell the countryside, hear the sounds, see the bright birds, the scorched earth, smell and even taste the soft fruit.' The Times 'Allende has a gift for conversational writing and a sharp sense of humour!I very much enjoyed this visit to the other Chile, that half-remembered country of her imagination.' New Statesman 'Allende is incapable of telling a bad story. She writes of her own experience with a kind of wild candour. Her heroically sustained narrative, her lovingly prepared plots and surprise inventions explode in an exaltation.' Independent 'Lucid, original and expounded with an unquestionable sense of humor!part essay and part autobiography!When Allende poses sweeping general truths, she leaves room for argument!But the book gets my undivided attention when it expounds on the relationship of the author to that country of hers, invented, imaginary, fictional, to the story of her family, which is itself invented memory, and to her vocation as a narrator!It will provoke curiosity. And that is where everything begins.' LA Times