WHO IS ISABEL ALLENDE?
IN WHICH ERA WAS SHE RAISED?
GIVE A BRIEF OUTLINE OF HER UNCLE’S POLITICAL HISTORY
Her mother, Francisca Llona Barros—everybody calls her Panchita—Her newborn brother Francisco, and Isabel Allende (in Lima, Peru, 1944.Isabel Allende Llona (born in Lima, Peru on August 2, 1942) is a Chilean writer with American citizenship. Allende, whose works sometimes contain aspects of the "magic realist" tradition, is famous for novels such as The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus) (1982) and City of the Beasts (La ciudad de las bestias) (2002), which have been commercially successful. Allende has been called "the world’s most widely read Spanish-language author". In 2010 she received Chile's National Literature Prize. In 2004, Allende was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Allende's novels are sometimes based upon her own personal experiences and often pay homage to the lives of women, while weaving together elements of myth and realism. She has lectured and toured many American colleges to teach literature. Allende adopted American citizenship in 2003 and has lived in California with her husband since 1989.
Allende was born in Lima, Peru, the daughter of Francisca Llona Barros and Tomás Allende, who was at the time the Chilean ambassador to Peru. Her father was a first cousin of Salvador Allende, President of Chile from 1970 to 1973; so Salvador is her first cousin once removed. Many sources cite Allende as being Salvador Allende's niece (without specifying that the relationship is that Tomas and Salvador are cousins); the confusion stems from Allende herself often referring to Salvador as her "'uncle" (tío) in her private life and public interviews. This is because in Spanish a "first cousin once removed" is translated as "second degree uncle" (tío en segundo grado).
Isabel Allende at the Miami Book Fair International in 1990
In 1945, after Tomás had disappeared," Isabel's mother relocated with her three children to Santiago, Chile, where they lived until 1953.Between 1953 and 1958, Allende's mother married Ramón Huidobro and moved often. Huidobro was a diplomat appointed to Bolivia and Beirut. In Bolivia, Allende attended a North American private school; and in Beirut, Lebanon she attended an English private school. The family returned to Chile in 1958. Allende was also briefly home-schooled. In her youth, she read widely, particularly the works of William Shakespeare.
In 1970 Salvador Allende appointed Huidobro as ambassador to Argentina.
While living in Chile, Allende finished her secondary studies and met engineering student Miguel Frías whom she married in 1962. Reportedly, "Allende married early, into an Anglophile family and a kind of double life: at home she was the obedient wife and mother of two; in public she became, after a spell translating Barbara Cartland, a moderately well-known TV personality, a dramatist and a journalist on a feminist magazine."
From 1959 to 1965, Allende worked with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization in Santiago, Chile, then in Brussels, Belgium, and elsewhere in Europe. For a brief while in Chile, she also had a job translating romance novels from English to Spanish. However, she was fired