Isabel Allende is a Chilean-American writer. Allende, whose works sometimes contain aspects of the “magic realist” tradition, is famous for novels such as The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts, which have been commercially successful. Allende has been called “the world’s most widely read Spanish-language author”. In 2004, Allende was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2010, she received Chile’s National Literature Prize. President Barack Obama awarded her the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
My Life Is About Ups And Downs, Great Joys And Great Losses.
When I Write Fiction, I Never Try To Deliver A Message; I Just Want To Tell A Story. But I Admit That I Want The Story To Be Memorable And The Characters To Touch The Reader's Heart.
I Have Lived With Passion And In A Hurry, Trying To Accomplish Too Many Things. I Never Had Time To Think About My Beliefs Until My 28-year-old Daughter Paula Fell Ill. She Was In A Coma For A Year, And I Took Care Of Her At Home Until She Died In My Arms In December Of 1992.
In The United States, The Fact That You Can Start Again Gives A Lot Of Energy And Strength And Youth To This Country. That Is Why It's So Powerful In Many Ways, And So Creative.
In The Books I Have Written, I Have Created In My Mind A Universe. My Kids Say I Have A Village In My Head And I Live In That Village, And It's True. When I Start Writing A Book, Characters From Previous Books Reappear. All My Emotions, My Mind, My Heart, My Dreams, Everything Becomes Connected With A New Book, And Nothing Else Really Matters.
Eros Is Very Close To Death. And Both Things, In A Way, Balance Each Other.
I Feel That Telling My Secrets Makes Me Less Vulnerable. What Would Make Me Vulnerable Are The Secrets I Keep.
At Five I Was Already A Feminist, And Nobody Used The Word In Chile Yet.
It Is In Giving That I Connect With Others, With The World And With The Divine.
I Think That Any Writer Who Is Commercial, Who Sells A Lot Of Books, Has To Face Criticism. Because The More Hermetic And The More Difficult Your Book Is, Supposedly It's Better.
The World Starts To Exist, For Americans, When We Are In Conflict With A Place. And Then All Of A Sudden, Afghanistan Pops Up On The Tv Screen And It Becomes A Place. And It Exists For Three Weeks, And Then It Disappears Into Thin Air.
I Never Thought That I Would Come To Live In The United States. I Was Not Pursuing The American Dream.
If You Change The Way You Tell Your Own Story, You Can Change The Colour And Create A Life In Technicolour.
I Have Learned Many Things In The 30 Years That I Have Been Writing.
The Longest, Most Solid And Complex Relationship In My Life Is With My Mother. It Started Before I Was Born, And Now, When I Am 71 And Living In California And She Is 92 And Living In Chile, We Are Still In Touch Daily.
I've Been A Story-teller All My Life But I Realized It Only Recently.
I Was A Lousy Journalist. I Could Never Be Objective. Sometimes I Invented The Whole Story.
I Was A Very Bad Journalist. Awful. I Would Just Invent Everything. If I Did An Interview, I Had A Preconception Of What That Person Should Say And I Would Put My Words In His Mouth.
The Media Could Do A Much Better Job, That's For Sure, Especially The Media That Targets Women... Human Rights? They Couldn't Care Less!
Writing Is My Job. I Don't Think Of It As Art.
I Like Hillary Clinton A Lot. I Know Her.
I Don't Think The World Will Destroy Itself In A Nuclear Cataclysm. On The Contrary, We Have The Capacity To Save Ourselves And Save The Planet, And We Will Use It.
I'm A Writer. In Latin America, They Say I'm A Latin-american Writer Because I Also Write In Spanish And My Books Are Translated, But I Am An American Citizen And My Books Are Published Here, So I'm Also An American Writer.
Before The Military Coup In Chile, We Had The Idea That Military Coups Happen In Banana Republics, Somewhere In Central America. It Would Never Happen In Chile. Chile Was Such A Solid Democracy. And When It Happened, It Had Brutal Characteristics.
I Get Up Every Morning Early, When The Sky Is Red, And Write For 10 Hours.
Unfortunately For My Family, They Have A Writer In The Family.
My Mother Didn't Want Me To Be A Feminist, A Radical, Political Person, Because She Was Scared. She Wanted Me To Be Protected And Safe, But My Life Never Was.
I Try To Write The Kind Of Books I Like To Read.
I Remember My Childhood As A Horrible Time. My Mother Says That Nothing So Horrible Ever Happened To Me As The Things That I Remember.
I Have Written About Chile Extensively, And Therefore I Have Read Many Books On The Subject, Mostly For Research.
You Couldn't Find Two People More Different Than My Mother And I. There Are A Thousand Things About Me That She Fought Against.
Everything I Write Has To Be Connected To My Life. One Of The Things That Always Comes Up In My Writing Is The Search For Freedom, Especially In Women.
I Confess That I Am A Messy, Disorganized And Impatient Reader: If The Book Doesn't Grab Me In The First 40 Pages, I Abandon It. I Have Piles Of Half-read Books Waiting For Me To Get Acute Hepatitis Or Some Other Serious Condition That Would Force Me To Rest So That I Could Read More.
We Don't Even Know How Strong We Are Until We Are Forced To Bring That Hidden Strength Forward. In Times Of Tragedy, Of War, Of Necessity, People Do Amazing Things. The Human Capacity For Survival And Renewal Is Awesome.
What I Fear Most Is Power With Impunity. I Fear Abuse Of Power, And The Power To Abuse.
All Stories Interest Me, And Some Haunt Me Until I End Up Writing Them. Certain Themes Keep Coming Up: Justice, Loyalty, Violence, Death, Political And Social Issues, Freedom.
I Don't Want An Uneventful And Safe Life, I Prefer An Adventurous One.
The Fact That I Am A Writer Comes From The Experience Of Being Cut Away From My Roots And Living In Venezuela, Where I Couldn't Find A Place For Myself, For Years And Years.
I Tend To See The Similarities In People And Not The Differences.
On A Tuesday, September 11th, 1973, We Had The Military Coup In Chile That Forced Me To Leave My Country Eventually. And Then, On A Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, We Had The Terrorist Attack In The United States.
In Times Of Conflict, War, Poverty Or Religious Fundamentalism, Women And Children Are The First And Most Numerous Victims. Women Need All Their Courage Today.
Women Have Always Been Courageous... They Are Always Fearless When Protecting Their Children And In The Last Century They Have Been Fearless In The Fight For Their Rights.
If This World Is Going To Be A Better Place For Our Grandchildren And Great-grandchildren, It Will Be Women Who Make It So.
A Memoir Forces Me To Stop And Remember Carefully. It Is An Exercise In Truth. In A Memoir, I Look At Myself, My Life, And The People I Love The Most In The Mirror Of The Blank Screen. In A Memoir, Feelings Are More Important Than Facts, And To Write Honestly, I Have To Confront My Demons.
I Never Said I Wanted A 'Happy' Life But An Interesting One. From Separation And Loss, I Have Learned A Lot. I Have Become Strong And Resilient, As Is The Case Of Almost Every Human Being Exposed To Life And To The World. We Don't Even Know How Strong We Are Until We Are Forced To Bring That Hidden Strength Forward.
I Am Happier When I Love Than When I Am Loved. I Adore My Husband, My Son, My Grandchildren, My Mother, My Dog, And Frankly, I Don't Know If They Even Like Me. But Who Cares? Loving Them Is My Joy.
I Was Such A Sullen, Angry, Sad Kid. I'm Sure There Are Writers Who Have Had Happy Childhoods, But What Are You Going To Write About? No Ghosts, No Fear. I'm Very Happy That I Had An Unhappy And Uncomfortable Childhood.
I Have Not Changed; I Am Still The Same Girl I Was Fifty Years Ago And The Same Young Woman I Was In The Seventies. I Still Lust For Life, I Am Still Ferociously Independent, I Still Crave Justice, And I Fall Madly In Love Easily.
If I Can Write It, I Can Cope. And I've Been Writing Many Books, But In Every Book, I Try To Explore Something In My Own Soul That I Need To Solve, I Need To Understand.
Giving Women Education, Work, The Ability To Control Their Own Income, Inherit And Own Property, Benefits The Society. If A Woman Is Empowered, Her Children And Her Family Will Be Better Off. If Families Prosper, The Village Prospers, And Eventually So Does The Whole Country.