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Most Widely Read Spanish-Language Author Ever | Author of The House of the Spirits and The Wind Knows My Name | Winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

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How to Live Passionately—No Matter Your Age (8:21)

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The Wind Knows My Name: On Immigration of the Past and Present (51:38)

Lavin Exclusive Speaker

A literary legend, social activist, and feminist icon, Isabel Allende has sold over 77 million books translated into more than 40 languages. The first Spanish-language writer to receive an honorary National Book Award medal, Allende is now the subject of a three-part HBO miniseries, revealing the person behind the legendary literary career spanning four decades. The massive audiences who laugh, and occasionally cry, at her talks are a testament to her bold and imaginative writing, which has brought together generations of readers.

[Allende] writes with surpassing compassion and insight. Her place as an icon of world literature was secured long ago. She will be celebrated, by readers and writers alike, for generations to come. Khaled Hosseini

Isabel Allende’s novels and memoirs have established her as one of the most respected Latin American writers—one of the most respected writers, period—the world has ever known. A native of Chile, Allende was forced into exile following the assassination of her uncle, President Salvador Allende. Since then, she has written over 27 books, including The House of the Spirits, Eva Luna, Daughter of Fortune (an Oprah pick), Ines of My Soul, Island Beneath the Sea, Maya’s Notebook, The Japanese Lover, Ripper, and In the Midst of Winter.

Allende’s non-fiction books include the memoirs Paula and The Sum of Our Days, as well as The Soul of a Woman, a passionate and inspiring meditation on Allende’s feminist roots. Chosen as one of Amazon’s best non-fiction books of the year, The Soul of a Woman is a work that Allende hopes will “light the torches of our daughters and granddaughters with mine.” Her incredible life and career are now dramatized in the HBO miniseries Isabel. Her latest book, The Wind Knows My Name was named to NPR‘s Books We Love.

Allende is the founder of the Isabel Allende Foundation, which promotes and preserves the fundamental rights of women and children to be empowered and protected. She has received fifteen honorary doctorates, including one from Harvard University, was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, and has received the PEN Center Lifetime Achievement Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Allende the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and in 2018 she received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation.


Isabel was absolutely fantastic, very engaging, a terrific speaker and storyteller. Everyone absolutely loved her and we’ve received a ton of wonderful feedback on her and the event. I think it was the best yet for this series!

University of British Columbia

Speech Topics

Stories of Passion

On stage, Isabel Allende translates the famous magical realism of her prose into an astonishing presentation that weaves together her family history, her literary trailblazing, and her uniquely forged insights on social justice, feminism and political and personal freedom. Allende is a true romantic, in the best sense. She talks with humor and wisdom about the sorrows and the heart-stirring beauty of the human condition.

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