Isabel Allende

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Isabel Allende

Goodreads Author


in Lima, Peru



Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda

member since
March 2013

About this author

Isabel Allende Llona is a Chilean-American novelist. Allende, who writes in the "magic realism" tradition, is considered one of the first successful women novelists in Latin America. She has written novels based in part on her own experiences, often focusing on the experiences of women, weaving myth and realism together. She has lectured and done extensive book tours and has taught literature at several US colleges. She currently resides in California with her husband. Allende adopted U.S. citizenship in 2003.

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Popular Answered Questions

Isabel Allende I read like a madwoman, so it is impossible for me to choose just one favorite book, I have thousands.
Isabel Allende The House of the Spirits, my first book, opened the way for all the other books. It was a rare case of unexpected instant success, and that allowed me…moreThe House of the Spirits, my first book, opened the way for all the other books. It was a rare case of unexpected instant success, and that allowed me to continue writing and eventually make a living as an author, which is not easy. So I am specially grateful to this novel, but probably my most cherished book is my memoir Paula.(less)
Average rating: 3.94 · 358,659 ratings · 18,629 reviews · 55 distinct works · Similar authors
The House of the Spirits
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 100,724 ratings — published 1982 — 180 editions
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Daughter of Fortune
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 77,395 ratings — published 1999 — 107 editions
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Eva Luna
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 21,267 ratings — published 1987 — 107 editions
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Portrait in Sepia
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 18,617 ratings — published 2000 — 75 editions
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 16,288 ratings — published 1994 — 84 editions
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Island Beneath the Sea
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 15,897 ratings — published 2009 — 64 editions
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Of Love and Shadows
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 13,851 ratings — published 1984 — 94 editions
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 12,972 ratings — published 2005 — 57 editions
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City of the Beasts (Eagle a...
3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 14,320 ratings — published 2002 — 82 editions
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Inés of My Soul
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 12,308 ratings — published 2006 — 71 editions
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More books by Isabel Allende…
On Feb 12th we will have a group discussion for Ripper. You can see more details here.

Also, there is a Ripper treasure hunt going on on Facebook. See details here.

And HarperCollins is sponsoring a 10 book giveaway here.

Ripper is now available for US readers here. Read more of this blog post »
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Published on January 27, 2014 11:03 • 531 views
Daughter of Fortune Portrait in Sepia The House of the Spirits
Tripartite (3 books)
4.020283460083777 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 196,712 ratings

City of the Beasts Kingdom of the Golden Dragon Forest of the Pygmies
Eagle and Jaguar (3 books)
3.705097806757558 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 26,992 ratings

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May 2010, Isabel Allende
"I am obsessed with the theme of freedom, especially for women. Women are abused, raped, exploited, sold; they are the poorest of the poor. They need to be strong and clear minded to overcome the multiple obstacles of their destiny." ...More

more interviews »

Isabel's Recent Updates

Los enamoramientos by Javier Marías
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Una novela literaria que requiere un lector atento. Tiene suspenso, pero el argumento es lo de menos, lo que más interesa es la filosofía del autor.
La piel dorada by Carla Montero
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Historia policial situada en Viena a comienzos del siglo XX. El detective tendrá que resolver una serie de crímenes violentos en el ambiente refinado y ultra conservador de la Viena de entonces. Me gustó el personaje de la baronesa Kornelia von Zeska ...more
Corona de Damas by Tosca Soto
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Esta novela, que podríamos definir como histórica y policial, fue escrita a cuatro manos por dos autoras, Susana Tosco y María Soto. La acción transcurre en Paris, en 1625. Hay de todo, desde duelos a espada hasta intrigas de espionaje.
Dispara, yo ya estoy muerto by Julia Navarro
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Es la historia de una familia, secretos, pasiones, aventuras. suspenso. Los personajes se mueven entre varias ciudades , como Varsovia, Jerusalén, París,
La hija del Este by Clara Usón
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Relata un episodio de la Guerra de los Balcanes, pero es mucho más que eso. Conmovedora, muy bien escrita, ha tenido gran éxito en Europa. No se puede soltar.
El hombre que amaba a los perros by Leonardo Padura Fuentes
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El asesinato de Troski, ordenado por Stalin y ejecutado por un mercenario, Ramón Mercader, en México, es el centro de esta novela policial.
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Under the Egg
by Laura Marx Fitzgerald (Goodreads Author)
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For 8 to 12 year olds but adults will enjoy it too.
Theodora lives in a 200-year-old townhouse with her fragile mother and her grandfather’s legacy: $463 and a rather mundane painting of an egg. When Theo discovers that there is a masterpiece hidden b
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart (Goodreads Author)
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Written for teenagers but adults are loving this gem.
A distinguished family is vacationing on a private Massachusetts island when something happens to the teenage daughter. Each morning when she wakes up, she can’t remember anything that happened bef
Cathedral of the Wild by Boyd Varty
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A story of transformation that inspires a great appreciation for the beauty and order of the natural world. With conviction, hope and humor, Varty makes a passionate claim for the power of the wild to restore the human spirit. A memoir about growing ...more
China Dolls by Lisa See
China Dolls
by Lisa See (Goodreads Author)
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As World War II begins, three friends find themselves competing for one showgirl role at San Francisco Chinatown’s exclusive nightclub The Forbidden City. Ruby is Japanese and desperate to pass as Chinese so she won’t be sent to a Japanese internment ...more
More of Isabel's books…
“The longer I live, the more uninformed I feel. Only the young have an explanation for everything.”
Isabel Allende, City of the Beasts

“Write what should not be forgotten.”
Isabel Allende

“The library is inhabited by spirits that come out of the pages at night.”
Isabel Allende


Sometimes the first line of a book just grabs you by the nostrils and drags your fool head into its pages, preventing escape in any way, shape or form. Which of these opening lines has its phalanges most firmly planted in your nasal cavities?

"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
  510 votes, 6.1%

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  417 votes, 5.0%

"I write this sitting in the kitchen sink."

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  408 votes, 4.9%

"He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad."

Scaramouche by Raphael Sabatini
  406 votes, 4.9%

"It was a pleasure to burn."

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  374 votes, 4.5%

"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
  343 votes, 4.1%

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  315 votes, 3.8%

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."

The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
  311 votes, 3.7%

"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York."

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  265 votes, 3.2%

"All children, except one, grow up."

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  244 votes, 2.9%

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  237 votes, 2.8%

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

1984 by George Orwell
  227 votes, 2.7%

"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun."

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  220 votes, 2.6%

Bah! Foolish poll-maker-person! The nostril seizing power of these paltry lines is minimal, at best! Look to the comments section where I shall carefully type out my choice, which you have so imprudently omitted!
  209 votes, 2.5%

"As Gregor Samsa awoke from a night of uneasy dreaming, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  202 votes, 2.4%

"He— for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it— was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters."

Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  201 votes, 2.4%

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  201 votes, 2.4%

"All this happened, more or less."

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  198 votes, 2.4%

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins."

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  190 votes, 2.3%

"It was the day my grandmother exploded."

The Crow Road by Iain Banks
  185 votes, 2.2%

“'To be born again,' sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, 'first you have to die.'”

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  184 votes, 2.2%

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  174 votes, 2.1%

"Mother died today."

The Stranger by Albert Camus
  169 votes, 2.0%

"Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I've come to learn, is women."

Middle Passage by Charles Johnson
  168 votes, 2.0%

"Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person."

Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
  163 votes, 1.9%

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

Neuromancer by William Gibson
  129 votes, 1.5%

"I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice - not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany."

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  129 votes, 1.5%

"I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man."

Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  127 votes, 1.5%

"Call me Ishmael."

Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  108 votes, 1.3%

"No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were being scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water."

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  104 votes, 1.2%

“'When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,' Papa would say, 'she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.'”

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
  101 votes, 1.2%

"There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim and we sat in the Korova milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening."

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  97 votes, 1.2%

"The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up."

The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G.K. Chesterton
  96 votes, 1.1%

"The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new."

Murphy by Samuel Beckett
  95 votes, 1.1%

"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  94 votes, 1.1%

"When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon."

The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley
  86 votes, 1.0%

"Most really pretty girls have pretty ugly feet, and so does Mindy Metalman, Lenore notices, all of a sudden."

The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace
  85 votes, 1.0%

"For a long time, I went to bed early."

Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
  80 votes, 1.0%

"Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex's admonition, against Allen's angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa's antipodal ant annexation."

Alphabetical Africa by Walter Abish
  66 votes, 0.8%

"When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere."

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
  64 votes, 0.8%

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

Paul Clifford by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
  54 votes, 0.6%

"I have never begun a novel with more misgiving."

The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
  47 votes, 0.6%

"My lady and I are being shut up in a tower for seven years"

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
  38 votes, 0.5%

"Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing."

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  36 votes, 0.4%

"The moment one learns English, complications set in."

Chromos by Felipe Alfau
  34 votes, 0.4%

"Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature."

The Debut by Anita Brookner
  32 votes, 0.4%

"When I was three and Bailey was four, we had arrived in the musty little town, wearing tags on our wrists which instructed - 'To Whom It May Concern' - that we were Marguerite and Bailey Johnson Jr., from Long Beach, California, en route to Stamps, Arkansas, c/o Mrs. Annie Henderson."

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  32 votes, 0.4%

"Of Herbert West, who was my friend in college and in after life, I can speak only with extreme terror."

Herbert West: Reanimator and Other Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
  31 votes, 0.4%

"'Barabbas came to us by sea', the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy."

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  31 votes, 0.4%

"What if this young woman, who writes such bad poems, in competition with her husband, whose poems are equally bad, should stretch her remarkably long and well-made legs out before you, so that her skirt slips up to the tops of her stockings?"

Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things by Gilbert Sorrentino
  26 votes, 0.3%

"Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu."

Waiting by Ha Jin
  24 votes, 0.3%


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Join us on Wednesday, February 12th for a special discussion with author Isabel Allende! Isabel will be discussing her work in English and Spanish inc ...more

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Shaimaa Ali Happy Birthday to a legendary writer & human being who still enrich our lives!!

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