Author of The House of the Spirits and The Sum of Our Days
—The L.A. Times
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 18 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, and the crime fiction novel Ripper. Her latest, The Japanese Lover (November, 2015), is being called an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic. Her non-fiction books include the memoirs Paula and The Sum of Our Days.
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.
The Japanese Lover
From New York Times and internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende, an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during the Second World War.
In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family—like thousands of other Japanese Americans—are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world.
Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Francisco’s charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years.
Sweeping through time and spanning generations and continents, The Japanese Lover explores questions of identity, abandonment, redemption, and the unknowable impact of fate on our lives. Written with the same attention to historical detail and keen understanding of her characters that Isabel Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel The House of the Spirits, The Japanese Lover is a profoundly moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world of unceasing change.
Maya’s Notebook is a startling novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende.
This contemporary coming-of-age story centers upon Maya Vidal, a remarkable teenager abandoned by her parents. Maya grew up in a rambling old house in Berkeley with her grandmother Nini, whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973 with a young son, and her grandfather Popo, a gentle African-American astronomer.
When Popo dies, Maya goes off the rails. Along with a circle of girlfriends known as "the vampires," she turns to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime--a downward spiral that eventually leads to Las Vegas and a dangerous underworld, with Maya caught between warring forces: a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol.
Her one chance for survival is Nini, who helps her escape to a remote island off the coast of Chile. In the care of her grandmother’s old friend, Manuel Arias, and surrounded by strange new acquaintances, Maya begins to record her story in her notebook, as she tries to make sense of her past and unravel the mysteries of her family and her own life.
Island Beneath the Sea
Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue, ZaritÉ -- known as TÉtÉ -- is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, TÉtÉ finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and the voodoo loas she discovers through her fellow slaves.
When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, it's with powdered wigs in his trunks and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father's plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. It will be eight years before he brings home a bride -- but marriage, too, proves more difficult than he imagined. And Valmorain remains dependent on the services of his teenaged slave. Spanning four decades,
The Island beneath the Sea is the moving story of the intertwined lives of TÉtÉ and Valmorain, and of one woman's determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruellest of circumstances.
The Sum of Our Days
In this heartfelt memoir, Isabel Allende reconstructs the painful reality of her own life in the wake of tragic loss-- the death of her daughter, Paula. Recalling the past thirteen years from the daily letters the author and her mother, who lives in Chile, wrote to each other, Allende bares her soul in a book that is as exuberant and full of life as its creator. She recounts the stories of the wildly eccentric, strong-minded, and eclectic tribe she gathers around her that becomes a new kind of family.
Throughout, Allende shares her thoughts on love, marriage, motherhood, spirituality and religion, infidelity, addiction, and memory. Here, too, are the amazing stories behind Allende's books, the superstitions that guide her writing process, and her adventurous travels. Ultimately, The Sum of Our Days offers a unique tour of this gifted writer's inner world and of the relationships that have become essential to her life and her work.
Narrated with warmth, humor, exceptional candor, and wisdom, The Sum of Our Days is a portrait of a contemporary family, bound together by the love, fierce loyalty, and stubborn determination of a beloved, indomitable matriarch.
The House of The Spirits
Here, in an astonishing debut by a gifted storyteller, is the magnificent saga of proud and passionate men and women and the turbulent times through which they suffer and triumph. They are the Truebas. And theirs is a world you will not want to leave, and one you will not forget.
Esteban -- The patriarch, a volatile and proud man whose lust for land is legendary and who is haunted by his tyrannical passion for the wife he can never completely possess. Clara -- The matriarch, elusive and mysterious, who foretells family tragedy and shapes the fortunes of the house of the Truebas. Blanca -- Their daughter, soft-spoken yet rebellious, whose shocking love for the son of her father's foreman fuels Esteban's everlasting contempt... even as it produces the grandchild he adores. Alba -- The fruit of Blanca's forbidden love, a luminous bearty, a fiery and willful woman... the family's break with the past and link to the future.
- Twitter: Speaker
- Twitter: Lavin
- Exclusives The 12th Floor: Meet Petar from the Toronto Office
- Economics New Videos: Diane Francis on Canada–US Economics, Elections, & Clean Energy
- Innovation First Look: Douglas Rushkoff’s New Book, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus
- Exclusives Lavin Weekly 24: Duckworth, Dolan, Leffler, Prevette, & Prothero