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Isabel Allende is a multi-award winning, New York Times bestselling author.
Born in Chile, she is considered as the most widely read Spanish-language author in the world.

Some of her accolades include, an inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004, Chile's National Literature Prize awarded in 2010 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to her in 2014 by President Barack Obama.

More about Isabel Allende

Genres: Fantasy / SF, Non-fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Born: 1942

Website: https://www.isabelallende.com/

Non Series
  • The House of the Spirits: A Novel - La casa de los espíritus (1982)
  • Of Love and Shadows: A Novel - De amor y de sombra (1985)
  • Eva Luna: A Novel - Eva Luna (1987)
  • The Stories of Eva Luna - Cuentos de Eva Luna (1989)
  • The Infinite Plan: A Novel (P.S.) - El plan infinito (1991)
  • Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses - Afrodita (1998)
  • Amor - Amor (2013)
  • My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile - Mi país inventado (2003)
  • Daughter of Fortune: A Novel (P.S.) - Hija de la fortuna (1999)
  • Portrait in Sepia: A Novel - Retrato en sepia (2000)
  • Ines of My Soul: A Novel - Inés del alma mía (2006)
  • Maya's Notebook: A Novel (P.S.) - El Cuaderno de Maya (2011)
  • Ripper: A Novel - El juego de Ripper (2014)
  • The Japanese Lover: A Novel - El amante japonés (2015)
  • Zorro - El Zorro: Comienza la leyenda (2005)
  • Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel (P.S.) - La isla bajo el mar (2010)
  • In the Midst of Winter: A Novel - Más allá del invierno (2017)
  • A Long Petal of the Sea: A Novel - Largo pétalo de mar (2019)
Paula
  1. Paula: A Memoir - Paula (1994)
  2. The Sum of Our Days: A Memoir (P.S.) - La suma de los días (2008)
Featuring Alexander Cold and Nadia Santos
  1. City of the Beasts - La ciudad de las bestias (2002)
  2. Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (P.S.) - El reino del dragón de oro (2004)
  3. Forest of the Pygmies (P.S.) - El bosque de los pigmeos (2005)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The House of the Spirits: A Novel

This debut novel is what established Isabel Allende as one of the most gifted storytellers in the world.

The book is about a symbolic family saga and the tempestuous history of an unnamed Latin American country.

Esteban is a charged and proud patriarchal man with an insatiable lust for land, and a oppressive passion for the wife he can never fully have.

Clara is the mystifying matriarch who foresees family tragedy and moulds the fortunes of the house and the Truebas.

Blanca, their soft-spoken yet defiant daughter, triggers Esteban’s everlasting disdain for loving the son of her father’s foreman—even though their love gives rise to the grandchild he adores.

Alba is the offspring of Blanca’s forbidden love; radiantly beautiful and fiery in nature.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: La casa de los espíritus
First Release: 1982
ISBN: 978-1501117015
Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition
Of Love and Shadows: A Novel

"In an atmosphere of anxiety and fear, in a country of tyrannical arrests and mysterious disappearances, two people are willing to put everything on the line for the sake of justice and truth."

Francisco Leal, a youthful photographer and secret member of the underground resistance movement, is madly attracted to Irene Beltrán; a reporter from an affluent bourgeois family.

To Francisco, it matters little that Irene is engaged to Gustavo Morante; an army captain dubbed “Bridegroom of Death”. He falls madly in love with Irene every time he accompanies her on a magazine assignment.

While investigating the bizarre case of Evangelina Ranquileo, a girl suffering from strange fits that supposedly results in miraculous powers, the adventurous duo find themselves in a whirlwind of terror and violence; as they look to expose a terrible crime.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: De amor y de sombra
First Release: 1985
ISBN: 978-1501117046
Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition
Eva Luna: A Novel

“My name, Eva, means 'life’—at least according to the book of names my mother consulted. I was born in the back room of a shadowy house, brought up amidst ancient furniture, Latin books and human mummies, yet this never made me feel desolate, for I came into the world with a breath of the jungle in my memory.”

This is the assertive voice of a naturally creative storyteller. Born poor and orphaned at an early age, she will elevate to a position of unique influence with the people she meets along the way: people such as the wealthy and peculiar, the Lebanese émigré, her unfortunate godmother, a street urchin, a famous transsexual entertainer and a young refugee.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Eva Luna
First Release: 1987
ISBN: 978-1501117084
Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition
The Stories of Eva Luna

Rolf Carlé, the journalist, European refugee and Eva Luna's lover, lies in bed with her when he asks her to tell him a story she has never told anyone before.

With that, she gives Rolf Carlé and the reader twenty-three lively and captivating illustrations of her artistry.

Clarisa was born before the city had electricity. She lived to see the first astronaut land on the moon via television, and was overcome with amazement when the visiting pope was greeted in the street by homosexuals masquerading as nuns.

El Capitán waited for four decades before proposing to his dancing partner

Horacio Fortunato is a circus owner whose life is changed forever when he meets a languid foreign woman.

Maurizia Rugieri deserts her husband and child for a youthful medical student.

And many more…

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Cuentos de Eva Luna
First Release: 1989
ISBN: 978-1471165665
Publisher: Scribner uk
The Infinite Plan: A Novel (P.S.)

“One man’s search for love and his struggle with a childhood of poverty and neglect”

The father of Gregory Reeves is a self-styled preacher who roamed the American West along with his family in a caravan in the 1940s, preaching about “The Infinite Plan”.

When the preacher falls ill, the family forgoes their nomadic ways and settles in a Hispanic barrio of Los Angeles.

It is in that Spanish-speaking world that Gregory is exposed to school, gangs, sex, books and work.

As he attempts to understand the mysterious world of the barrio, Gregory meets the people who will mould his future.

But after returning from Vietnam, he becomes a lawyer in San Francisco; pursuing world possessions whilst searching for love with the wrong women.

It’s only after several false turns that he goes back to his roots and to a new life.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: El plan infinito
First Release: 1991
ISBN: 978-0061976827
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses

A powerful and seasoned storyteller, Isabel Allende gives an intimate and endearingly peculiar look at the interlaced sensual arts of food and love.

Bringing together an extravaganza of amazing facts about the aphrodisiac powers of food and drink, Allende presents them with both admiration and ridicule; offering insights on both ancient and modern—be it for luring a lover, kindling sexual ardor, sustaining the act of love, or revitalizing declining virility.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Afrodita
First Release: 1998
ISBN: 978-0060930172
Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st HarperPerennial Ed edition
Amor

"Amor" is a collection of scenes of love and eroticism from Isabel Allende's novels, which begins with a fun essay about her first experiences with sex.

It is organized by stages of life, from awakening to first love to maturity, crossing the various thresholds of an existence marked by passion and romance.

The collection was first published in Germany and soon followed by editions in other languages.

The book has however not been translated to English yet.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Amor
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0345806017
Publisher: Vintage Espanol
My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile

"This is a memoir where truth is quite assuredly stranger than fiction."

Isabel Allende looks back at her life events and those of her native country where she lived until the death of President Salvador Allende—her father’s cousin who was assassinated in Pinochet’s military coup.

Allende brings her homeland to life as she walks us through a very intimate tour of Chile.

It’s a place where her grandfather saw the devil on a bus, and her great aunt sprouted wings. It is a place of love charms, ghosts and never-ending family feuds.

A defiant and fiery feminist way before the term ever existed, Allende’s love, and often infuriation with Chile, inspires her every statement.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Mi país inventado
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-0007163106
Publisher: Harpercollins Pub Ltd
Daughter of Fortune: A Novel (P.S.)

Having been orphaned at birth, Eliza Sommers is brought up in the British colony of Valparaíso, Chile, by the caring Victorian spinster Miss Rose and her inflexible brother Jeremy.

She encounters the unbefitting Joaquín Andieta, a low-ranking clerk who works for Jeremy, with whom she falls in love with.

But when gold is discovered in the hills of Northern California, Joaquín takes off for San Francisco to quench his thirst for fortune; with the pregnant Eliza deciding to follow him.

In a society of single men and prostitutes, in a world where newly arrived inhabitants are propelled by the gold fever, Eliza’s search for the evasive Joaquín slowly turns into a conquest of personal freedom.

When she finally receives the news about the father of her child, Eliza is faced with the choice of who her true love really is!

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Hija de la fortuna
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-0061120251
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
Portrait in Sepia: A Novel

An historical novel set in Chile at the end of the nineteenth, Portrait in Sepia is a family folktale which is a continuation of the widely celebrated Daughter of Fortune.

A terrible traumatic experience has shaped the character of Aurora del Valle; erasing every single memory of the first five years of her life.

Brought up by Paulina del Valle, her majestic and authoritative grandmother, Aurora grows up in a fortunate surrounding—devoid of the restrictions that surrounded the lives of women at that time, but still haunted by terrible nightmares.

When betrayal comes from man she loves, Aurora embarks on a mission to uncover the mystery of her past.

Narrated in the voice of a youthful woman in search of her roots, this book is about memory and family secrets.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Retrato en sepia
First Release: 2000
ISBN: 978-0060898489
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reissue edition
Ines of My Soul: A Novel

Born into an impoverished Spanish family, Inés Suárez, a seamstress, looks destined for a life of hard work yet without any prospect of change for the future.

It is the sixteenth century, right at the start of the Spanish conquest of the Americas.

When her shiftless husband takes off to the New World, Inés uses the excuse of searching for him as a reason to flee her homeland in search of an adventure.

After her deceitful journey to Peru, she comes to learn of the death of her husband in battle.

That provides leeway for her to spark an intense love affair with Pedro Valdivia; a war hero and field marshal to the famed Francisco Pizarro, and the man who will change her life forever.

Together, they will build the new city of Santiago and unleash a merciless war against the local Chileans.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Inés del alma mía
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0061161544
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
Maya's Notebook: A Novel (P.S.)

Nineteen-year-old Maya Vidal was raised in an old, creeping house in Berkeley with her grandparents after being abandoned by her parents.

Nidia, her grandmother, fondly known as Nini, is a determined woman whose resilience helped her start afresh having migrated from Chile in 1973.

Popo, Maya's grandfather, is an astronomer and professor of African American roots. His gentle yet concrete reassuring nature helps calm the violent storms of Maya's adolescence.

When Popo succumbs to cancer, Maya resorts to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime, eventually bottoming out in Las Vegas.

Getting entwined with a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol, she escapes to an isolated island off the coast of Chile thanks to the help of Nini.

It is there that she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and forgiveness.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: El Cuaderno de Maya
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0062105639
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
Ripper: A Novel

The Jackson women have always had each other, yet despite the strong bond, mother and daughter couldn’t be any different than they already are.

Indiana is a stunning holistic healer and a free-spirited nonconformist.

Despite having separated from Amanda’s father long ago, she is hesitant to settle down with either Alan, the rich heir of one of the most notable families in San Francisco, and Ryan; the mysterious and scarred ex Navy SEAL.

Unlike her mother who always sees the good in people, Amanda—the MIT-bound high school senior which a passion for crime novels— is intrigued by the dark side of humanity.

So when a series of mysterious killings take place in the city, Amanda decides to conduct her own investigation.

Her mother however suddenly disappears when the case becomes too personal.

Could this be the work of a serial killer on the loose?

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: El juego de Ripper
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0062291424
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
The Japanese Lover: A Novel

The year is 1939.

As Poland is conquered by the Nazis, Alma Belasco is sent to San Francisco by her parents to live under the care and safety of her aunt and uncle in their extravagant mansion.

As the war continues, she begins a secretive love affair with Ichimei Fukuda; the quiet and humble son of the family’s Japanese gardener.

Their young love is however disrupted after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, as Ichimei, his family and thousands of other Japanese Americans are forced to relocate to internment camps operated by the United States government—having been pronounced enemies of the state.

The two will be reunited several times in their lifetime, but their love is one that they are eternally forced to hide from the world!

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: El amante japonés
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1501116995
Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition
Zorro

He may have been born in Southern California during the tail end of the eighteenth century, but Diego de la Vega is a child of two worlds.

His father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner, while his mother a Shoshone warrior.

He learns the art of fencing and cattle branding from his father, and the ways of the tribe from his maternal grandmother.

Diego is sent to Barcelona as a sixteen year old to gain formal education, but he ends up joining a clandestine underground resistance movement determined to help the impoverished and powerless.

After several adventures of falling in love, rescuing the persecuted, and facing off with a great rival, Diego returns to America as Zorro.

His mission; to take back the hacienda where he was brought up and to seek justice for those who can’t fight for it on their own.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: El Zorro: Comienza la leyenda
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0007201983
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; UK ed. edition
Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel (P.S.)

Zarité, fondly known as Tété, was born on the island of Saint-Domingue to an African mother she never knew and a white sailor who brought her into bondage.

When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain docks on the island in 1770 with powdered wigs in his trunks, his only ambition is achieving financial success.

Valmorain however ends up buying young Tété for his bride, but it is he who will rely on the services of his teenaged slave.

Forced to relocate to the brutal French colony, soon to become Haiti, after the bloody revolution of Toussaint Louverture revolution, Tété will discover that her attraction to Valmorain is much deeper than she thought.

This is the moving story of one woman who is determined to find love in the midst of loss.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: La isla bajo el mar
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0061988257
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
In the Midst of Winter: A Novel

Richard Bowmaster hits Evelyn Ortega’s car during the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory. Richard is a lonely university professor in his sixties while Evelyn is a youthful, illegal immigrant from Guatemala.

What at first looked like a mild inconvenience soon takes a significant turn when Evelyn comes to his house in dire need of help.

Unsure of what to do, Richard requests for the advice of Lucia Maraz; his tenant and a fellow academic from Chile.

As the lives of these three people is gradually interweaved, each of them will learn of just how they have been molded by the tragedies they witnessed; most especially Richard and Lucia who will find an abrupt yet long overdue love.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Más allá del invierno
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1501178146
Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition
A Long Petal of the Sea: A Novel

When civil war rocks Spain during the late 1930s, hundreds of thousands are forced to embark on a dangerous journey over the mountains to the French border. This comes after General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overturning the government.

Among them is Roser; a pregnant youthful widow whose life is irrevocably entwined with that of Victor Dalmau—an army doctor and the sibling of her deceased love.

The two must however unite in a marriage neither of them fancies in order to survive; with both of them being sponsored by poet Pablo Neruda to set off on the SS Winnipeg along with 2,200 other refugees hoping for a new and better life.

Despite the numerous challenges they encounter, both are encouraged by the hope of returning home one day; only for them to realize that, all along, home might have been closer than they actually thought.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Largo pétalo de mar
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1984820150
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Paula

Paula: A Memoir

Paula, Isabel Allende’s daughter, fell terribly ill in December 1991, and soon afterwards fell into a coma.

While in hospital during the months that ensued, Isabel began to write the story of her family for her unconscious daughter.

Strange ancestors appear before our eyes in the story. We learn of both pleasing and painful childhood memories, amazing anecdotes of youthful years and the most personal secrets told in whispers.

Chile also comes alive, with the violent history of the 1973 military coup and the dictatorship that followed in Allende’s native land.

This book is a powerful autobiography of a tragic personal experience, and a blunt acceptance of the mystical and spiritual worlds.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: Paula
First Release: 1994
ISBN: 978-0061564901
Publisher: Harper Perennial
The Sum of Our Days: A Memoir (P.S.)

This is a genuine memoir where Isabel Allende recounts the heart-rending reality of her own life following the unfortunate loss of her daughter, Paula.

Based on the daily letters that she and her mother, who lives in Chile, wrote each other, the author plainly puts everything in a book that is as ebullient as its originator.

Throughout the memoir, the author offers her two cents on love, marriage, motherhood, spirituality and religion, extramarital relations, addiction, and memory.

This book is an exclusive guide into Allende’s inner world; with insights into the relationships that have played an integral role to her life, just as much as they have to her work.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: La suma de los días
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0061551840
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition

Featuring Alexander Cold and Nadia Santos

City of the Beasts

Fifteen-year-old Alexander Cold is sent to be with his grandmother after his mother falls ill.

His grandmother is however a bold and resilient magazine reporter for International Geographic, and is on an expedition to the unwelcoming and isolated parts of the Amazon.

Working side by side with an acclaimed anthropologist, a doctor, a local guide and his young daughter, Nadia, their mission is to document the legendary Yeti of the Amazon, otherwise known as the Beast.

Finding his inspiration from the strength of the jaguar, and the eagle, Nadia’s spirit guide, the two young individuals are guided by the People of the Mist—an indigenous tribe so in sync with their surroundings that they can literally disappear.

Alexander will learn a lot more than he could have imagined about the hidden worlds of the rain forest.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: La ciudad de las bestias
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-0007146376
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (P.S.)

A few months have gone by since Alexander Cold followed his fearless grandmother right into the heart of the Amazon to document its legendary Beast.

In yet another episode of adventure, reporter Kate Cold takes her grandson and his closest friend, Nadia, on a journey to another isolated part of the world; not however without her photographers from International Geographic.

Their mission is to locate the legendary Golden Dragon, a sacred and priceless oracle located deep in the frosty peaks of the Himalayas—one that can predict the future of the kingdom.

With the help of a sage Buddhist monk, his young royal disciple, and a vicious tribe of Yeti warriors, Alexander and Nadia must do whatever it takes to protect the holy rule of the Golden Dragon.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: El reino del dragón de oro
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0061825125
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
Forest of the Pygmies (P.S.)

Kate Cold is never too far from an adventure. So when International Geographic commissions her to run an article about the first elephant-led safaris in Africa, Alexander Cold jumps in head first.

Along with Nadia Santos and the magazine’s photography crew, they head to the blazing red plains of Kenya.

A few days after beginning their tour, they are approached by a Catholic missionary who is desperately searching for his companions who have mysteriously disappeared.

With the help of a local pilot—who takes them to the swampy forests of Ngoubé—Kate, Alexander, Nadia, and their team agree to search for the missing people.

It is while in Ngoubé that they learn of a clan of Pygmies who unleash a shocking world of corruption, slavery, and poaching.

Author: Isabel Allende
Original Title: El bosque de los pigmeos
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0061825101
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition