A literary legend, social activist, and a feminist icon, Isabel Allende has sold over 70 million books translated in more than 40 languages. The first Spanish-language writer to receive an honorary National Book Award medal, Allende’s extraordinary life 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 24 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. Her novel, A Long Petal of the Sea, follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home. Her latest novel, Violeta, tells the epic story of a woman bearing witness to the greatest upheavals of the twentieth century. Allende’s non-fiction books include the memoirs Paula and The Sum of Our Days, as well as her most recently published book 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 is now dramatized in Isabel, a miniseries on HBO that reminds viewers that “the path to greatness is never assured and rarely foreseen” (Roger Egbert).
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 was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S., as well as PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She also received the Chilean National Prize for Literature in 2010 and in 2014.
“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
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.