The literary universe is celebrating today, as one of the great writers of the moment turns 79 years old. Isabel Allende was born a day like today in 1942 in Lima (Peru), and until today he has dedicated his life to letters, with impeccable talent and a bibliography worthy of recognition. His will to live is as evident as the sales success of his work, being one of the most widely read writers in the world -the most widely read in the Spanish language-, and giving the literary scene authentic gems of narrative. Now, to celebrate his years so well completed, we remember 5 Allende books that are worth reading.
1. “The house of the spirits” (1982)
It was his first great novel and the one that catapulted him to the top of the literary scene. Framed in magical realism, the work focuses on themes such as love and death, as well as ghosts. A story full of spirituality and adventures whose quality was such that it was even compared to “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, by Gabriel García Márquez. It narrates the life of the Trueba family, who It spans four generations and reflects the social and political problems of postcolonial Chile.
2. “Of love and shadow” (1984)
This book, his second great success, is an acute testimony of the dramatic situations suffered by some regions of Latin America. Again, Allende pays tribute to his land, through characters that reflect miscegenation, social injustices and the search for one’s own identity, the main controversies in Latin countries.
3. “Paula” (1994)
This time, in his mastery of analyzing and transmitting people’s feelings beautifully and faithfully, Allende focuses on Paula, his daughter. When she was very young, the author’s daughter became seriously ill and soon after fell into a coma. “When I was in a vegetative state, inert, absent, distant, I wondered Where was it? That I felt? How to achieve it? It is a stark, intimate, personal memory, with all the tears of pain and terror of losing my daughter ”, said the writer.
4. “The city of beasts” (2002)
Again, magic, fantasy and adventure. This book tells the story of Alexander Cold, a 15-year-old American boy who travels to the Amazon with his grandmother Kate, a journalist specializing in travel. During that journey, Alex knows an amazing world, a parallel universe that Allende builds from the shaman, nature and magical realism.
5. “Long petal of the sea” (2019)
From the verses “When from Chile”, by Pablo Neruda, Allende titled this novel as “Long petal of the sea.” This time, as a context, the author chooses World War II: September 3, 1939, When the Spanish exiles arrived in Chile, fighting broke out. Víctor Dalmau is a young doctor who is caught up in the Spanish Civil War, a tragedy that changes his life and the destiny of his country forever. He travels with his sister-in-law, the pianist Roser, and Neruda in the same boat.