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Mi país inventado: Un paseo nostálgico por Chile

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  7,078 ratings  ·  580 reviews
El primer recuerdo que Isabel Allende tiene de Chile es el de una casa que nunca conoció: la "casa grande y vieja" de la calle Cueto, donde nació su madre. Esta casa, evocada por su abuelo con tanta frecuencia que Isabel cree haber vivido allí, se convierte en la protagonista de su primera novela La Casa de los Espíritus. Dicha obra vuelve a aparecer al comienzo de las fascinantes y ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 3rd 2004 by HarperCollins Español (first published January 2003)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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Brina
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Emily Mac Rae
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
Nada EL Shabrawy
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, english
Only you can help me in my hard times. Only you Isabel.
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
...more
Negin
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
Mara
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John
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 USA - ...more
Missy J
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
...more
l.
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.
TheBookManiac
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Laila
May 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 st
...more
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
...more
KOMET
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.
Jacinta
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jim
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, chile
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 Venezuela, about whic
...more
Cynda
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
...more
Leila
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I found the generalizations made by Allende rather offputting for much of this book, even as I appreciated her stories from her childhood in Chile. The last few chapters which filled in much of her adult life won me over, however. I relate to the way she admits to shaping her own story (and that of her native country) in ways that suit her design. We all do it, but how many are comfortable with admitting it? A wonderful book to read on my Chilean adventure.
Alex Kudera
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Beril Sayir
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Allende uses a perfect blend of sorrowful and humorous tones in describing Chile. On almost every page I found a funny description that made me really laugh! This is a great memoir that I suggest to everyone; wherever she's been, you feel as if you're in her shoes.
Anita
Jul 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 a
...more
Zuberino
Isabel Allende is a natural born storyteller, and can spin just about any yarn with fluency and wit. Here she is at her best when she is discussing the Allende-Pinochet years and her personal experience of political upheaval and exile. I was expecting more insight on Salvador Allende, seeing as how Isabel was his niece, but unfortunately she has nothing of interest to say about the personality of the martyr-president. Maybe she didn't know him all that well?

She does make some pretty
...more
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
I wasn't sure what to expect from My Invented Country as I'm pretty sure I've not yet read any of Isabel Allende's novels. What I got was gently nostalgic reminiscences of her childhood and adolescence, sprinkled with witty and sharp observations of not only Chile, but also Allende's adopted countries since the 1970s, primarily Venezuela and the USA, and the contrasts between them. I knew little, also, of Chile other than the name of Pinochet so was fascinated to learn insignificant details of d ...more
Angus Mcfarlane
Nostalgia is something that I don't particularly like getting caught up in, especially someone else's since what we each treasure from our pasts is so personal. But whether I tell my nostalgia or not, they still exist and may become more prominent as I grow older. Isabella Allende has plenty of reason to to feel nostalgia for chile, having grown up either side of the coup and amidst some of the characters involved. She left after the coup, exiled, with all the more reason to reflect on what she ...more
Lyn Elliott
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lyn by: Book club
It has taken me a while to digest what I want to say about Allende's My Invented Country.
It starts off rather awkwardly with a catalogue of facts, about Chile, its geography and history. Once she gets to the history, we begin to hear a more characteristic voice, at turns wry, funny, horrified and horrifying as she sums up invasion, settlement/appropriation of land, interactions between the colonists and the native peoples, and the mores of the Chile her grandparents and parents lived in an
...more
Asya
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
A warm, intimate memoir of Allende's Chile, both the invented country of her memory and imagination, and an attempt to make some historical and sociological observations. Her writing alternatives between the personal and the general tense, and neither is dry, rather always full of anecdotes, humor, and poignant insight. She covers themes from the light like humor and cuisine, to the serious like the Pinochet period and its aftermath. Mostly, the book is an attempt to understand nostalgia, and wh ...more
Natalie Sue
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good book for anyone who loves Allende and wants to spend a few hours hearing her talk!
Oana Ciurdarean
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book!
No idea why I've waited so long to read it (oh, yes, it's in Spanish my copy!), but I love it.
MY FIRST book in Spanish! :)
Laurie
I liked this book in many ways since I don't know much about Chile. It was interesting to read about the differences Allende sees between the country as it was when she was young and the way it is now. The hierarchy of the old established families is less stringent than when she was young, and it is possible now to be upwardly mobile if one has some money. But conspicuous wealth is now a goal whereas when she was growing up, it was important to be frugal even when one had money.

I also enjoyed r
...more
Giulia Cavallari
I need to go to Chile.

My invented country is eccentric, chaotic and passionate in true Isabel Allende's fashion. It's an unorganised journey through nostalgia mixed with imagination, family anedocts and selective memories, to create the mitic country that only exists in the author's heart.

Nevertheless, it is a very convincing portrait of Chilean society and culture and it's evolution over the past decades.
Troy
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish her classic House of the Spirits (the movie was good though!), but this one was a quick read, especially before our trip to Chile. She captures the people and culture in interesting stories, weaving in stories of her childhood and eventual move to the US. Of particular interest is her evolving relationship to the US, even marrying an American, given its support for the dictator that drove her out of Chile as a child.
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Around the World ...: Discussion for My Invented Country 12 31 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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