Isabel Allende Llona

portrait of Isabel Allende
Presenting her book La suma de los días at Barcelona (2008)

Born: 2 August 1942, Lima, Peru

Born Isabel Allende Llona in Peru, the daughter of a Chilean diplomat, she was raised in Chile. Her father disappeared in 1945, her mother married another diplomat and from 1953 to 1958 she attended English-speaking schools in Bolivia and Beirut, Lebanon. She married in 1962, translated several Barbara Cartland romances into Spanish and became a TV personality and journalist. Her father's cousin, Salvadore Allende, was elected president of Chile in 1970, and was then overthrown by CIA-sponsored military coup in 1973, forcing her into exile in Venezuela where she worked as a journalist. On learning that her grandfather was on his deathbed in Chile, she began a long letter to him, which later became her first novel. She is the most widely-read Spanish-language novelist, although she is a US citizen (since 1995) and speaks fluent English she continues to write only in Spanish. Critics and intellectuals in Chile "detest" her (her words), while she has won honors in the US, England, France, and Germany. She currently lives at San Rafael, California.

Biography from Wikipedia and don Quijote

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