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My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  6,768 ratings  ·  551 reviews
Isabel Allende's first memory of Chile is of a house she never knew. The "large old house" on the Calle Cueto, where her mother was born and which her grandfather evoked so frequently that Isabel felt as if she had lived there, became the protagonist of her first novel, The House of the Spirits. It appears again at the beginning of Allende's playful, seductively compelling ...more
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published May 27th 2003 by Harper (first published January 2003)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,768 ratings  ·  551 reviews

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Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
For those who have read my reviews, then they know that I have mentioned that Isabel Allende is my favorite writer. Her most recent book, In the Midst of Winter, left a bad taste in my mouth because it was largely devoid of her magical realism that I love. Craving a book with magical realism but not knowing which author to turn to, I decided upon her only memoir which I had not yet read, My Invented Country. A journey that takes readers from Chile to California and back, Allende paints a picture ...more
Mahdi Lotfi
به یادم میآید که خانوادهام و من، در حالی که دستهایمان پر از بار و بنه بود سوار ترنی شدیم که با سرعت لاکپشت از میان بیابان بد آب و هوای آتاکاما به سوی بولیوی حرکت میکرد. خورشید، صخرههای داغ، کیلومترها سکوت و انزوای وهمآور ، گاه به گاه قبرستانی متروک، کلبههای مخروبهای از گل و چوب، گرمای خشکی که حتی پشهها هم در آن زنده نمیمانند- تشنگی غیر قابل سیراب شدن بود.

این کتاب شرحی از شیلی است . خانم آلنده در مورد اخلاق و رسم و رسوم های مردم شیلی ، تفریحاتشان ، وقایع سیاسی و حتی از طبیعت شیلی سخن گفته است.
Emily Mac Rae
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I am a big fan of Isabel Allende's novels, but this book did not capture me. I finished three 500 hundred page dense non fiction books while trudging through this less the 200 paged auto biographical tome. i know that she recounted joys and pleasures of her country as well of the history of its dark history, but I grew weary of the traditional intransigence of the culture. HEr novels are gleanings from this same culture and I am intrigued and entranced by them. It is puzzling but I would mch rat ...more
فهد الفهد
بلدي المخترع

تعجبني هذه الكاتبة، دخلت بالنسبة لي منذ قرأت روايتها (ابنة الحظ) نادي كبار الروائيين والذي كانت تفزعني ذكوريته حينها – نعم لازلت أسميه نادي كبار الروائيين رغم وجود أنثى داخله، فقط لأنني أحب وقع الاسم ولا أريد تغييره -، ايزابيل الليندي تكتب بأسلوب خاص جداً، مميز، يمكنك أن تتعرف عليه حتى ولو قرأت كتبها بلا غلاف، إنها تتمدد في النص، تخلطه بذاتها بحيث أنها لا تحتاج إلى رص اسمها إلى جانب العنوان.

وكعادة ايزابيل عندما تكتب، فهي تكتب عن ذاتها أولاً، قبل أن تكتب عن الموضوع، والموضوع هنا هو
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is Isabel Allende's funny and sorrowful tribute to her native country. She starts off with amusing stories: a cat-killing refrigerator; her grandfather's insistence that he saw the devil on a bus; her father who disguised himself as a Peruvian Indian woman with bright petticoats and a wig with long braids. Later in the book she moves on to the horror and repression suffered by the Chilean people following the CIA-assisted military coup in 1973.

The book is not so much a memoir as it is an e
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never noticed how much I love memoirs until my daughter pointed it out to me. We joke about that endlessly, since I’m often quite unaware of the genre of a book when I choose it and start reading it. Well, a memoir and never mind one written by Allende, I simply knew that it had to be good! This book is full of nostalgia and memories of her life in Chile. She writes beautifully and from the heart. For me, reading Isabel Allende books are a pleasure. This one was a re-read and I loved it yet ag ...more
Emir Ibañez
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isabel nos cuenta la historia de Chile a través del lente de su nostalgia, como quien nos cuenta un cuento que hace rato no escuchábamos. Sus libros de memorias te hacen sentir muy cercano a ella, como que te lo está contando cara a cara, con brillo en los ojos. Es una pena que sea tan cortito.
Sara Jesus
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Isabel Allende nasceu no Chile, em Santiago e seu pai foi o importante Salvador Allende que chegou a ser governador. Neste livro que constitui um conjunto de memorias e relatos da realidade chilena, a escritora partilha as suas inspirações e revela os lugares assim como as pessoas responsáveis pelas suas historias.

A avo de Isabel foi que a iniciou no realismo mágico; acreditava existir imensas realidades em que o instinto, a imaginação, os sonhos, as emoções e a intuição correspondem as sentido
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Isabel Allende's writing flows like a story that your grandmother would tell you about a time long before you were born, but that still has an intricate connection to your world and flickers into existence only to be half seen or intuitively perceived as a lingering presence. These are the stories about a past that does not belong to you, but that seems so familiar because of the wonderful voice of the author who, inadvertently perhaps, but nevertheless compellingly, makes you a part of her hist ...more
I've never been tempted by Allende's fiction, and I can't say I am now, but this is one well-written, engaging memoir! To break things down, I'd say it's about 65% memoir/20% history/15% travel narrative. Other reviewers have said the book is meandering, which is true, but she tells the story in a way that makes sense to her; autobiographies need not be strictly chronological narratives. If you're wondering why no fifth star, well, she does dwell on the negative at times, both in Chile and the U ...more
I personaggi dei romanzi, come i fantasmi, sono esseri fragili e timorosi; bisogna trattarli con cautela perché si sentano a loro agio nelle pagine.

La Allende ripercorre, attraverso ricordi, aneddoti e descrizioni varie, gli anni trascorsi nella sua terra, il Cile, e nella sua città, Santiago, con un colorito contorno di parenti, amici e tradizioni. Almeno fino a che il golpe militare del 1973 non la costrinse, due anni dopo, a lasciare questo Paese e ad imboccare un altro cammino.
Un periodo lun
Yazeed AlMogren
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هنا تكتُب إيزابيل اليندي كتابًا وكأن وزارة السياحية في تشيلي تكفلت بتكاليف طباعته، تتحدث إيزابيل في هذا الكتاب عن تشيلي ذلك البلد النحيل الذي يقع في أقصى وأبعد مكان في العالم والعامر بالعادات والتقاليد الغريبة، تتذكر إيزابيل وطنها عندما رحلت عنه بعد الإنقلاب الذي أطاح بإبن عم والدها الرئيس الإشتراكي المنتخب سلفادور الليندي والذي أسقطته المخابرات المركزية الأمريكية حتى لاتتمدد الإشتراكية في بلدان أمريكا اللاتينية، يزخر هذا الكتاب بحنين إيزابيل لتشيلي ويعتبر نافذة تعرّف القارئ بهذا البلد
Missy J
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
My 5th Isabel Allende book! A couple of years ago I read Allende's autobiographical work "Paula", which is a sad recount of her daughter's long coma and death, and what Allende went through during that time. "My Invented Country" gives a broader overview of the author's life from childhood to the turn of the century. This book was published in 2003 and I googled some recent stuff on her and things have changed inevitably (Willy and her are no longer together since 2015).

There's no doubt that Is
Ninoska Goris
La escritura es tipo casual. En donde no hay una línea de tiempo, sino que puede saltar de un tema a otro.

Bueno para nuevos lectores de Isabel Allende, porque los que hemos leído varios libros de ella, sobre todo La casa de los espíritus, probablemente conozcamos la mayoría de lo aquí escrito.
Sarah saied
البرنسيسية ايزابيل الليندي....الأقرب الي القلب دائما وأبدا....
مجرد الإمساك بكتاب لها هو متعة لا شبيه لها...
ربما الكتاب صيغة معادة بطريقة مختصرة من مذكراتها العظيمة (باولا)...ومن روايتها الأولي بيت الأرواح...ربما ركزت أكثر هنا علي وصف بلادها تشيلي بناسها وطبيعتها وجغرافيتها وما مر بها من عواصف السياسة...

ويبقي أجمل ما في الكتاب كلمات ايزابيل الليندي التي تصف ببساطة حنينها لذكريات طفولتها وشبابها في تشيلي والتي تقول فيها:
هكذا هو الحنين ..
رقصة بطيئة دائرية..
الذكريات لا تنتظم متسلسلة ..انها مثل الدخا
Avere Isabel Allende che ti racconta il suo profondo legame con il Cile attraverso la sua vita ed i ricordi mescolati alle citazioni delle sue opere non è cosa da poco.

Non mi ha entusiasmato come altri suoi libri, ma l’emozione che la sua scrittura mi ha trasmesso rimane viva. Insieme, incredibilmente, ai fantasmi dei suoi antenati.

Scritto con leggerezza, semplicità ed ironia. Non sai mai quanto sia davvero inventato; poco secondo me.
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Surprisingly International

You don’t have to be Chilean to enjoy this beautiful memoir, but you will gain an appreciation for Chile and its people after reading “My Invented Country”.

This is the story about how Isabel Allende, one of the most charismatic Latin American authors of our time, came to become the person she is today. Her very personal narrative will take you to a different country and a different era that will (almost) make you feel Chilean.

We follow her steps from the very beginning
May 14, 2010 rated it liked it
I don't know how interested I would be in this book had I not lived in Chile for several months. However, since I have, I found it endearing and hilarious, especially when I read a few gems that I though my sister might appreciate.

"...on my last trip I found to my amazement that coffee had finally made its entrance into culture and now anyone willing to pay can find espressos and cappuccinos worthy of Italy."

Isabel, really? This book was published about 8 years ago but still in 2009, when I orde
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chile, biography
Invented Country, yes. But Nostalgic Journey Through Chile? Not really. My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile is more than anything else an autobiography of a life fragmented by years of exile due to the violence of the Pinochet regime. In addition, the (probably) murdered left-leaning ex-president, Salvador Allende Gossens, was a favorite relative of hers. Isabel Allende's Chile is primarily in her heart.

Her first book, House of the Spirits, was written while she was living in
I don't like her.

I don't like how she described a fat actress as a woman of whale proportions who had to be imported.
I don't like how when she's writing about racism she actually invokes noble savage and other racist tropes.
I don't like how she essentializes random qualities.

I just don't like her at all.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
In "My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey through Chile", Isabel Allende takes the reader to her native land Chile and treats said reader to a fascinating discussion on Chilean history, culture, her own life, and the various idiosyncrasies of her own family across the generations. Reading this book was both an educational and entertaining experience for me.
Ali Alghanim
بعض من سيرة الكاتبة في طفولتها و شبابها، و جزء من تاريخ بلدها الأم تشيلي بتنوع ثقافاته و أجناسه.

* إن الأزمة الأخلاقية تحدث عندما يذهب الكاثوليكيون أنفسهم الذين يعيشون الوفرة إلى القداس، بينما ينكرون على عمالهم الرواتب المستحقة...
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
When I looked up Chilean books I should read, the list was basically her and Pablo Neruda, so I picked up a copy last week when I found it in English. I enjoyed it and will probably re-read, but it was a bit of a strange book. It's a memoir, but she's already written a full memoir and this is more a memoir of her thoughts and feelings about Chile than her life story, although that is the background structure of the book. Some of what she says about Chile seems almost like secondhand knowledge, a ...more
Isabel Allende has written a memior of herself, her family, her first society, and her country of birth, Chile. Ms Allende mostly loves in San Francisco with her beloved, however imperfect, husband.
As usual, Allende spells things out. In part, she speaks of the political dramas post WWII, of her country of birth. Speaking of how President (General) Pincochet was elected, she says: "It is a fact that information was censored and brainwashing was the goal of a vigorous propaganda machine; it is al
Hoda Marmar
Maybe 4.5 stars, but not less!
I enjoyed it a lot. She writes beautifully, and she is very honest and really funny! Such a smart lady.
This was my first Allende read, but it won't be the last. I'm very excited to read her other two biographies, and all of her novels, especially 'The house of the spirits'.
I was struck by the amazing similarities between Chilean and Lebanese cultures, wow, who knew?! And I've learned that she spent some time in Beirut before the civil war broke out. I wished she tal
Alex Kudera
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this, and it includes many memorable quotations, a few of which I added to my blog. I liked it enough that I immediately checked out of the library a few books she notes in this one, including an earlier memoir, Paula.
NoConforto Dos Livros
(em breve no blog) :)
Bianca Manea
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-library
Indraznesc sa cred ca e o carte de memorii atipica, scrisa in stilul caracteristic al Isabelei Allende, care m-a ajutat sa inteleg mai bine cum evenimentele politice si sociale din Chile au format-o si au inspirat-o sa scrie cartile pe care le apreciez atat de mult: Casa Spiritelor, Eva Luna, Portret in Sepia etc.
Jul 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Anita by: Auntie Pilar
This was one of the few Isabel Allende’s books I hadn’t read, at this point (I’m still missing a few, though). I wasn’t particularly interested, considering that this is non-fiction and I didn’t use to read much non-fiction back in the day (a lot has changed since then, I guess). So, I picked this up at my aunt’s and gave it a read.

It’s fun how I live in the same country, but everything is completely different for me. Well, not everything, but a lot has changed since the 60s. There are a few thi
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Around the World ...: Discussion for My Invented Country 12 28 Aug 15, 2018 06:42PM  
Women Around The ...: Chile- My Invented Country by Isabel Allende 1 4 Mar 24, 2016 07:02PM  
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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 s ...more
“My worst flaw is that I tell secrets, my own and everybody else's. ” 30 likes
“Literary characters, like my grandmother's apparitions, are fragile beings, easily frightened; they must be treated with care so they will feel comfortable in my pages” 14 likes
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