Picture of author.

Isabel Allende

Author of The House of the Spirits

119+ Works 74,157 Members 1,830 Reviews 315 Favorited

About the Author

Isabel Allende was born in 1942 in Lima, Peru, the daughter of a Chilean diplomat. When her parents separated, young Isabel moved with her mother to Chile, where she spent the rest of her childhood. She married at the age of 19 and had two children, Paula and Nicolas. Her uncle was Salvador show more Allende, the president of Chile. When he was overthrown in the coup of 1973, she fled Chile, moving to Caracas, Venezuela. While living in Venezuela, Allende began writing her novels, many of them exploring the close family bonds between women. Her first novel, The House of the Spirits, has been translated into 27 languages, and was later made into a film. She then wrote Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, and The Stories of Eva Luna, all set in Latin America. The Infinite Plan was her first novel to take place in the United States. She explores the issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees in her novel, In The Midst of Winter. In Paula, Allende wrote her memoirs in connection with her daughter's illness and death. She delved into the erotic connections between food and love in Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses. In addition to writing books, Allende has worked as a TV interviewer, magazine writer, school administrator, and a secretary at a U.N. office in Chile. She received the 1996 Harold Washington Literacy Award. She lives in California. Her title Maya's Notebook made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2013. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Isabel Allende Llona (b. 1942), Chilean born novelist (US citizen since 2003). Do not confuse with María Isabel Allende Bussi (b. 1945), daughter of former Chilean president Salvador Allende; cousin of the novelist.

Image credit: Photo by Robert Birnbaum (courtesy of the photographer)


Works by Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits (1982) 13,975 copies
Daughter of Fortune (1998) 8,751 copies
Eva Luna (1987) 5,077 copies
Portrait in Sepia (2000) 4,199 copies
Paula (1994) 4,002 copies
City of the Beasts (2002) 3,492 copies
Zorro (2004) 3,396 copies
Of Love and Shadows (1984) 3,163 copies
The Stories of Eva Luna (1989) 2,898 copies
Inés of My Soul (2006) 2,625 copies
Island Beneath the Sea (2009) 2,494 copies
The Infinite Plan (1991) 2,406 copies
My Invented Country (2003) 2,121 copies
The Japanese Lover (2015) 2,015 copies
Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (2004) 1,783 copies
A Long Petal of the Sea (2019) 1,677 copies
The Sum of Our Days: A Memoir (2008) 1,324 copies
Forest of the Pygmies (2004) 1,285 copies
In the Midst of Winter (2017) 1,192 copies
Maya's Notebook (2011) 1,169 copies
Ripper (2013) 1,033 copies
Violeta (2022) 1,018 copies
The Wind Knows My Name (2023) 433 copies
The Soul of a Woman (2019) 370 copies
Amor (1991) 68 copies
Cartas de Paula (1996) — Editor — 41 copies
Guggenheim Lovers (2012) 23 copies
La ninfa de porcelana (2017) 23 copies
Als je mijn hart beroert (1991) 10 copies
Niña perversa (1991) 9 copies
Relatos de amor (1997) 5 copies
Two Words (2010) 5 copies
Ruhlar Evi (2021) 4 copies
La casa de los espíritus (1993) 4 copies
Tosca [short story] (2005) 3 copies
Kış Ortasında (2020) 2 copies
El sexo y yo 2 copies
Paula | Cartas de Paula (1996) 2 copies
Tanušna morska latica (2019) 1 copy
Asktan ve Gölgeden (2020) 1 copy
Momentos Del Corazon (2002) 1 copy
The Girls 1 copy
Impunity 1 copy
Paula, Part 2 (2000) 1 copy
La città delle bestie (2020) 1 copy
Pigmeju mežs (2008) 1 copy
Briesmoņu pilsēta (2008) 1 copy
Cinayet Oyunu (2015) 1 copy
Maya'nin Gunlugu (2013) 1 copy
Revenge 1 copy
Yüreğimdeki ülkem (2004) 1 copy
פאולה (1997) 1 copy

Associated Works

Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (1971) — Foreword, some editions — 2,537 copies
The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction (1983) — Contributor — 1,134 copies
The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales (1992) — Contributor — 542 copies
Granta 21: The Story-Teller (1987) — Contributor — 157 copies
Black Water 2: More Tales of the Fantastic (1990) — Contributor — 152 copies
Murder & Other Acts of Literature (1997) — Contributor — 148 copies
A Hammock Beneath the Mangoes: Stories from Latin America (1991) — Contributor — 148 copies
Short Stories by Latin American Women: The Magic and the Real (1990) — Foreword; Contributor — 144 copies
Granta 33: What Went Wrong? (1990) — Contributor — 131 copies
Other Fires: Short Fiction by Latin American Women (1985) — Foreword — 122 copies
The Penguin Book of International Women's Stories (1996) — Contributor — 114 copies
The Gates of Paradise (1993) — Contributor — 114 copies
The Penguin Book of Erotic Stories by Women (1995) — Contributor — 81 copies
Her Fork in the Road: Women Celebrate Food and Travel (2001) — Contributor — 80 copies
The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (2010) — Contributor — 58 copies
Huellas de las literaturas hispanoamericanas (1602) — Contributor — 50 copies
Where Angels Glide at Dawn: New Stories from Latin America (1990) — Introduction — 45 copies
One World of Literature (1992) — Contributor — 24 copies
In Praise of Women (1997) — Foreword — 18 copies
Tales of Zorro (2008) — Afterword — 15 copies
Elders : interviews with Andrew Denton (2010) — Contributor — 5 copies
Of Love and Shadows [1994 film] (1996) — Original novel — 3 copies
A Fierce Green Fire [2012 film] (2012) — Narrator — 2 copies
Palabras de mujer — Contributor — 2 copies


20th century (381) adventure (433) Allende (220) anthology (471) autobiography (207) biography (271) California (393) Chile (1,780) Chilean (232) Chilean literature (540) family (356) fantasy (676) fiction (6,461) historical (361) historical fiction (1,631) history (469) Isabel Allende (382) Latin America (1,109) Latin American (277) Latin American literature (716) literature (825) love (215) magical realism (1,529) memoir (572) narrativa (263) non-fiction (709) novel (1,102) Novela (331) own (330) politics (193) read (593) Roman (476) romance (358) short stories (687) South America (770) Spanish (737) to-read (3,274) translation (307) unread (399) women (294)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Allende Llona, Isabel Angélica
Peru (birth)
USA (naturalized)
Chile (naturalized)
Country (for map)
Lima, Peru
Places of residence
Lima, Peru
Santiago, Chile
Brussels, Belgium
Caracas, Venezuela
San Francisco, California, USA
Beirut, Lebanon (show all 9)
La Paz, Bolivia
San Rafael, California, USA
teacher (literature)
reporter (show all 9)
documentary filmmaker
TV personality
Allende, Salvador (cousin)
Isabel Allende Foundation
Awards and honors
Gabriela Mistral Order of Merit (1994)
Feminist of the Year Award ( [1994])
Academia de Artes y Ciencias (member)
American Academy of Arts and Letters ( [2004])
Read About Me Literary Award ( [1996])
Dorothy and Lilian Gish Prize (show all 12)
National Prize for Literature Chile (2010)
Flag Bearer, Olympics Opening Ceremony (2006)
Honorary Degree, D.H.L. (San Francisco State University, 2008)
Honorary Degree, D.Litt. (Harvard University ∙ 2014)
Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award (2017)
Carl Sandburg Literary Award (2013)
Short biography
Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of eight novels, including, most recently, Violeta, Zorro, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. She has also written a collection of stories; three memoirs, including My Invented Country and Paula; and a trilogy of children's novels. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages and have become bestsellers across four continents. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Isabel Allende lives in California.
Disambiguation notice
Isabel Allende Llona (b. 1942), Chilean born novelist (US citizen since 2003).
Do not confuse with María Isabel Allende Bussi (b. 1945), daughter of former Chilean president Salvador Allende; cousin of the novelist.



November 2018: Isabel Allende in Monthly Author Reads (October 2021)
Group Read, October 2016: Of Love and Shadows in 1001 Books to read before you die (October 2016)
Monthly Author Read for September in Monthly Author Reads (September 2011)


It's hard to believe that this masterpiece of South American literature is a debut novel. I listened to the audiobook, and I have set so many other things aside to take the time to listen to this wonderful, intricately-detailed story.
ahef1963 | 246 other reviews | May 18, 2024 |
milbourt | 104 other reviews | May 11, 2024 |
Got 10 minutes? Read this. It’s just so sweet. Keeps you wondering right to the last word. But then, it is Allende, so what would one expect?
PhilipJHunt | 10 other reviews | May 10, 2024 |
very good storytelling; in fact, storytelling is discussed in novel; sensitive characterization with humor; gives insight into the unique Latin American way of life
WilliamSwyter | 72 other reviews | Apr 28, 2024 |


AP Lit (1)
My TBR (2)
1990s (2)
Ghosts (1)
1980s (1)


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David Mann Cover designer
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