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Isabel Allende Educational Posters, Books, Links for Learning
for the language arts, women's studies and social studies classrooms and home schoolers.

literature > notable authors > ISABEL ALLENDE < famous women < social studies

Isabel Allende
Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende
b. 8-2-1942; Lima, Peru

Isabel Allende was a prominent 28-year-old journalist and humorist in Chile when her uncle, Salvador Allende, was elected the first socialist president in that nation's history.

When Salvador Allende's government was overthrown by General Augusto Pinochet, Isabel and her family found that they were not welcome in Chile anymore, and thy moved to Venezuela.

Her first novel, The House of the Spirits, which was published in Spanish in 1982, grew out of a letter she wrote to her 99 year old dying grandfather back in Chile.

Allende has moved to America and written novels such as The Infinite Plan and Daughter of Fortune, a short-story collection (The Stories of Eva Luna), a cookbook, and children's books. Her most personal book is Paula, a beautiful and haunting account of the illness and death of her daughter.

Celebrate Literature & Language Arts

Voices of Diversity - Isabel Allende - Art Print
Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende

Poster Text: “Clara's childhood came to an end and she entered her a world of terrifying stories and calm silences. It was a world in which time was not marked by calendars or watches and objects had a life of the own.”- The House of the Spirits

"I've always told stories," says Isabel Allende. "They used to call me a liar. Now that I write books, they call me a narrator." That gift for storytelling has made Ms. Allende one of the most celebrated writers to come out of Latin America. Her books have sold more than ten million copies and have geen translated into 27 languages.

Isabel Allende was born in Peru, but when she was young, her family went to live with her grandparents in Chile. Her grandfather was very strict – he wouldn't even allow a radio in the house. Instead, Isabel spent her time in the basement, where she devoured hundreds of books, "Reading . . . was my time, my space, my universe," she says.

Ms. Allende became a well-known journalist. But her life changed forever in 1973 when her uncle, Salvador Allende Gossens, the president of Chile, was killed in a military coup. Ms. Allende fled to Venezuela in 1975.

Her first novel, the House of the Spiritis, was published when she was 40. It started out as a letter to her dying grandfatehr. "He believed that people only really died when they were forgotten." she says. "I began writing him the memories that would keep him alive for me." Many of the characters are based on her own family, including her grandmother, who, Ms. Allende says, was clairvoyant, and could move objects without touching them. The House of the Spirits, like much of Ms. Allende's fiction, incorporates magic realism, a literary style where seemingly impossible things occur in everyday life.

In 1987, Ms. Allende moved to California. As an exile from Chile, and as a non-white woman living in an adopted country, she sees herself as an outsider. But she believes this helps her writing. "As an outsider, I'm in a privileged position. While everyone else takes everything for granted, I'm always asking questions. I get unusual answers."

• more Voices of Diversity posters

Statue of Salvador Allende in Plaza de la Constitution, Santiago, Chile, SA, Photographic Print
Statue of Salvador Allende in Plaza de la Constitution, Santiago, Chile, SA, Photographic Print

Salvador Allende
b. 12-26-1908; Valparaiso, Chile
d. 9-11-1973; Santiago (assassination by suicide)

Salvador Allende, the President of Chile, was trained as a medical doctor. His decision to redistribute wealth and land in an attempt to allivate malnutrition and unemployment lead to his death during a military coup funded by the CIA.

Salvador Allende quote ~
• “Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Keep in mind that, much sooner than later, the great avenues will again be opened through which will pass free men to construct a better society. Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!”
President Salvador Allende's farewell speech, September 11, 1973

FYI - Salvador Allende's niece, Isabel Allende, is a noted author.

South America Political Map, Art Print
South America
Political Map,
Art Print

South America Political Map

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Farm house w/ mountain in background, Chile Giclee Print
Farm house w/ mountain in background, Chile
Giclee Print

Farm house w/ mountain in background, Chile

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• more Latino Writers

Isabel Allende quotes ~
• “How can one not speak about war, poverty, and inequality when people who suffer from these afflictions don't have a voice to speak?”
• “Accept the children the way we accept trees – with gratitude, because they are a blessing – but do not have expectations or desires. You don’t expect trees to change, you love them as they are.”
• “I was born in the back room of a shadowy house, and grew up amidst ancient furniture, books in Latin, and human mummies, but none of those things made me melancholy, because I came into the world with a breath of the jungle in my memory.” ~ Eva Luna

Books & video about and by Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende - magnificent epic of the loves, ambitions, and spiritual quests of the Trueba family and their participation in the history of their times.

Of Love and Shadows, Isabel Allende

Paula, Isabel Allende - Written for her daughter Paula when she became ill and slipped into a coma, Paula is the colorful story of Allende's life – an enchanting blend of magical realism, politics, and romance.

Daughter of Fortune: A Novel, Isabel Allende - a danger-filled quest and journey of transformation set in Chile to California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Oprah Book Club selection.

My Invented Country, Isabel Allende - Two life-altering events inflect the peripatetic narration of this book: The military coup and violent death of her uncle, Salvador Allende Gossens, on September 11, 1973, sent her into exile and transformed her into a writer. The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, on her newly adopted homeland, the United States, brought forth from Allende an overdue acknowledgment that she had indeed left home.


Isabel Allende's Biography

Isabel Allende, Emory University

Isabel Allende Resources

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