The eighty years of writing by Isabel Allende, the most widely read living Spanish-language writer in the world

Journalist by profession and novelist by invitation. This is a good way to introduce Isabel Allende, other than to say that she is the daughter of a diplomat and the niece of former President Salvador Allende. But far from kinship, if the Chilean is known for something, it is because of her books. the last, Violet (Plaza & Janés), a story written in full confinement that covers the history of an entire century since it began with the misnamed Spanish flu and ended with the Covid pandemic.

When he presented this new project at the beginning of the year, he told his readers that it wouldn’t be the last and that he still had many adventures to tell. The truth is that if the Chilean has distinguished themselves for something throughout her career, it is because of the liveliness and enthusiasm of her followers. Today, on the occasion of its 80th anniversary, we are collecting some of the curiosity surrounding the author of books such as long sea petal also Eva Luna.

January 8, sacred rite

Allende is such a methodical person when it comes to work, that the novels always begin on the same day: January 8. A trait she confirmed herself during a conversation with her vanguard, where he admitted that “on that day I bring fresh flowers to the office, light some incense and begin writing.” And what would happen if the inspiration arrived on January 9th? More than one will be asked. “I write it in my notebook and start on January 8 of the following year. By then the idea will probably have developed and matured. It’s usually a positive exercise, he argues.”

The reason for this date is not trivial. On that day, in 1981, doctors and relatives warned him that his grandfather was about to die. Then the writer decided to write him a farewell letter which ended up being her first book, house of spirits. The success of this novel was to begin every January 8th.

Isabel Allende with her new novel

Isabel Allende with her new novel “Violetta”

Laurie Barra

That was 40 years ago, and Penguin Random House announced that it will celebrate that anniversary with a commemorative edition that includes an unpublished preface written by the author herself, and will be published October 13 in Spain, Latin America, and in Spanish. United State. In the format of print, electronic and audio books.

Salute to his daughter Paula

One of Allende’s most difficult moments was undoubtedly the death of his daughter Paula in 1992. Two years later, this tragic event led him to write Paula, a memoir that leaves the soul exposed. This wasn’t the only honor the author gave to her firstborn as she also fulfilled her last wish: to create a charitable organization dedicated to protecting and empowering women and children around the world. Thus the Isabel Allende Foundation was born.


He exchanged more than 24,000 messages with his mother

The love that Allende declared to his mother was not a secret at all. They were always best friends. So much so that when they lived separately, each in a different country, they decided to find a formula to keep in touch, and it was only the mail. “I memorized it and I have about 24,000 messages,” he explained in an interview. vanguard. “Then the email came and my mom went crazy because she started texting me two or three times a day. At the end of the year, she would give me the letters I had sent her in a box. My son had numbered them all that he wouldn’t get lost.”

The author wanted to continue this beautiful custom when she passed away. “I kept writing for her soul, because she was used to recording my day. But it didn’t work out, because she wasn’t there anymore and she couldn’t answer me,” he admitted. However, just as he did years before with his beloved daughter Paula, he would do the same with his mother in book form. And so Violet was born.


More than 15 international honorary doctorates

If anyone can boast of a biography, it is none other than Isabel. And it is that Chile adds more than fifteen international honorary doctorates, among which one is from the prestigious Harvard University. But that is not the only thing that makes his career enviable, given that there are many awards that he has received. Among them, the National Literature Award from Chile or the PEN Center Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States.


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Writer Isabel Allende with some of her published works

Antonio Banderas and Guacamole are pure inspiration

Aphrodite It is the literary project that Allende embarked on after the silence over the death of his daughter Paula. But what does Antonio Banderas have to do with all this? The truth is that a lot, although it seems hard to believe. As the writer realized on more than one occasion, one night dreaming that she was placing the naked Spanish actor inside a Mexican tortilla, “I poured her guacamole and hot sauce, twisted her and ate her greedily.” This was the germ of building this exciting and culinary story that helped her out of literary mourning .

Antonio Banderas presents the musical

Antonio Banderas performs the musical “A chorus line” at the Tivoli Theatre

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