Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Allende, Isabel

(1942-    ) South American writer – born in Peru, raised in Chile, exiled to Venezuela after the 1973 assassination of her uncle, Salvadore Allende (1908-1973), and eventually resident in the USA – who began writing plays and sketches around 1964 but came to international notice only with La Casa de los espíritus (1982 Spain; trans Magda Bogin as The House of the Spirits 1985 US), a magic-realist (see Magic Realism) confabulation of political Satire and fantasy in which the secular tragedies of contemporary Chilean life are illuminated against the story of a family with Talents. In their complex richness these talents represent the multifariousness of a threatened culture which ultimately suffers profound damage as the 20th century progresses. Critics have likened the book to Gabriel García Márquez's Cien anos de soledad (1967; trans as One Hundred Years of Solitude 1970 US). The House of the Spirits was filmed in 1994. IA's third novel, Eva Luna (1987; trans Margaret Sayers Peden 1988 US), is structured as a series of stories that its protagonist – a Scheherazade-like figure – tells (self-creatingly) about herself. [JC]

Isabel Allende


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.