Isabel Allende - Quotes

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I never said I wanted a 'happy' life but an interesting one. From separation and loss, I have learned a lot. I have become strong and resilient, as is the case of almost every human being exposed to life and to the world. We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.

I never said I wanted a 'happy' life but an interesting one. From separation and loss, I have learned a lot. I have become strong and resilient, as is the case of almost every human being exposed to life and to the world. We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.

We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.

We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.

I am happier when I love than when I am loved. I adore my husband, my son, my grandchildren, my mother, my dog, and frankly, I don't know if they even like me. But who cares? Loving them is my joy. ---->>>

What I fear most is power with impunity. I fear abuse of power, and the power to abuse. ---->>>

From journalism I learned to write under pressure, to work with deadlines, to have limited space and time, to conduct and interview, to find information, to research, and above all, to use language as efficiently as possible and to remember always that there is a reader out there. ---->>>

Roots are not in landscape or a country, or a people, they are inside you. ---->>>

A memoir forces me to stop and remember carefully. It is an exercise in truth. In a memoir, I look at myself, my life, and the people I love the most in the mirror of the blank screen. In a memoir, feelings are more important than facts, and to write honestly, I have to confront my demons. ---->>>

Women have always been courageous... They are always fearless when protecting their children and in the last century they have been fearless in the fight for their rights.

Women have always been courageous... They are always fearless when protecting their children and in the last century they have been fearless in the fight for their rights.

I can promise you that women working together - linked, informed and educated - can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet.

I can promise you that women working together - linked, informed and educated - can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet.

My father left when I was three, and I have no memory of him. The most significant male figures in my life were my grandfather, in whose house I lived during the first 10 years of my childhood, and later my stepfather. ---->>>

On a Tuesday, September 11th, 1973, we had the military coup in Chile that forced me to leave my country eventually. And then, on a Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, we had the terrorist attack in the United States. ---->>>

My life is about ups and downs, great joys and great losses.

My life is about ups and downs, great joys and great losses.

If you change the way you tell your own story, you can change the colour and create a life in technicolour. ---->>>

I don't want an uneventful and safe life, I prefer an adventurous one. ---->>>

I want to have an epic life. I want to tell my life with big adjectives. I want to forget all the grays in between, and remember the highlights and the dark moments. ---->>>

Feminism is dated? Yes, for privileged women like my daughter and all of us here today, but not for most of our sisters in the rest of the world who are still forced into premature marriage, prostitution, forced labor - they have children that they don't want or they cannot feed. ---->>>

I have not changed; I am still the same girl I was fifty years ago and the same young woman I was in the seventies. I still lust for life, I am still ferociously independent, I still crave justice, and I fall madly in love easily. ---->>>

Giving women education, work, the ability to control their own income, inherit and own property, benefits the society. If a woman is empowered, her children and her family will be better off. If families prosper, the village prospers, and eventually so does the whole country.

Giving women education, work, the ability to control their own income, inherit and own property, benefits the society. If a woman is empowered, her children and her family will be better off. If families prosper, the village prospers, and eventually so does the whole country.

I confess that I am a messy, disorganized and impatient reader: if the book doesn't grab me in the first 40 pages, I abandon it. I have piles of half-read books waiting for me to get acute hepatitis or some other serious condition that would force me to rest so that I could read more. ---->>>

Feminism is not dead, by no means. It has evolved. If you don't like the term, change it, for Goddess' sake. Call it Aphrodite, or Venus, or bimbo, or whatever you want; the name doesn't matter, as long as we understand what it is about, and we support it. ---->>>

I can't control life for my grandchildren, so how could I control a story? Sometimes I try to force something, and after working and working on that chapter, I realise that I am swimming against the current. I will never get there. So I have to let go of whatever previous idea I had about it and let the characters decide. ---->>>

I read on my iPad when I travel. I listen to audiobooks in the car. I read books in my bedroom, where I have a comfortable couch, a lamp and two dogs to keep me warm. ---->>>

Men's memoirs are about answers; women's memoirs are about questions. Most male authors want to look good in their memoirs and have a place in posterity, while most women know that posterity is what happens when you no longer care. Women want to connect with others here and now; they couldn't care less about legacy! ---->>>

If this world is going to be a better place for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, it will be women who make it so. ---->>>

I tend to see the similarities in people and not the differences. ---->>>

We want a world where life is preserved, and the quality of life is enriched for everybody, not only for the privileged. ---->>>

I'm aware of the mystery around us, so I write about coincidences, premonitions, emotions, dreams, the power of nature, magic. ---->>>

Heart is what drives us and determines our fate. That is what I need for my characters in my books: a passionate heart. I need mavericks, dissidents, adventurers, outsiders and rebels, who ask questions, bend the rules and take risks. ---->>>

All stories interest me, and some haunt me until I end up writing them. Certain themes keep coming up: justice, loyalty, violence, death, political and social issues, freedom.

All stories interest me, and some haunt me until I end up writing them. Certain themes keep coming up: justice, loyalty, violence, death, political and social issues, freedom.

I was born in ancient times, at the end of the world, in a patriarchal Catholic and conservative family. No wonder that by age five I was a raging feminist - although the term had not reached Chile yet, so nobody knew what the heck was wrong with me. ---->>>

Heart is what drives us and determines our fate. ---->>>

I write to understand my circumstances, to sort out the confusion of reality, to exorcise my demons. But most of all, I write because I love it! ---->>>

Kids are smart: don't underestimate their bull detector. Contemporary kids have access to a lot of information, so don't even try to fool them. I have never been more nervous about my research than when writing for young adults because they pick up every single error. ---->>>

The pain of losing my child was a cleansing experience. I had to throw overboard all excess baggage and keep only what is essential. ---->>>

A memoir is an invitation into another person's privacy. ---->>>

Nice people with common sense do not make interesting characters. They only make good former spouses. ---->>>

I never try to convey a message, I just want to tell a story. Why that story in particular? I have no idea, but I have learned to surrender to the muse. I become obsessed with a theme or with certain stories; they haunt me for years, and finally, I write them. ---->>>

Everybody has losses - it's unavoidable in life. Sharing our pain is very healing. ---->>>

My desk is like a 'U,' so I have my computer and lots of dictionaries because I write in Spanish and I live in English. ---->>>

The first lie of fiction is that the author gives some order to the chaos of life: chronological order, or whatever order the author chooses. ---->>>

Feminism has never been sexy, but let me assure you that it never stopped me from flirting, and I have seldom suffered from lack of men. ---->>>

I don't read thrillers, romance or mystery, and I don't read self-help books because I don't believe in shortcuts and loopholes. ---->>>

I'm interested in people who have to overcome obstacles, people who are not sheltered by the umbrella of the establishment, marginals. ---->>>

If I had to choose between a relative and a good story, I would take the story. ---->>>

My writing comes not from the happy moments, but from struggle and grief. ---->>>

The poorest and most backward societies are always those that put women down. ---->>>

I was a political refugee living in Venezuela. I had a job that was twelve hours a day, no money. It was a hard time. ---->>>

All summer, I read fiction because you must read for the pleasure and beauty of it, and not only for research. I don't read thrillers, romance or mystery, and I don't read self-help books because I don't believe in shortcuts and loopholes. ---->>>

I love fiction because in fiction you go into the thoughts of people, the little people, the people who were defeated, the poor, the women, the children that are never in history books. ---->>>

One of the characteristics of North American culture is that you can always start again. You can always move forward, cross a border of a state or a city or a county, and move West, most of the time West. You leave behind guilt, past traditions, memories. ---->>>

Americans have a warrior's mentality, most of them. That's how this society was built. The fact that you own a gun and shoot to defend your life is a very American way of thinking. ---->>>

Every life of a character is within a context. If I write detached from a social and political background, my story looks like a soap opera where everybody is indoors, not working and living off their emotions. ---->>>

I was not supposed to be in any way a liberated person. I was a female born in the '40s in a patriarchal family; I was supposed to marry and make everyone around me happy. ---->>>

I was such a sullen, angry, sad kid. I'm sure there are writers who have had happy childhoods, but what are you going to write about? No ghosts, no fear. I'm very happy that I had an unhappy and uncomfortable childhood.

I was such a sullen, angry, sad kid. I'm sure there are writers who have had happy childhoods, but what are you going to write about? No ghosts, no fear. I'm very happy that I had an unhappy and uncomfortable childhood.

In times of conflict, war, poverty or religious fundamentalism, women and children are the first and most numerous victims. Women need all their courage today.

In times of conflict, war, poverty or religious fundamentalism, women and children are the first and most numerous victims. Women need all their courage today.

Twittering and blogging and all that is fine, but there is no idea of how to phrase something beautifully; how to use language to create an emotion. It's just passing information and sometimes very superficial information. ---->>>

I have a foot here and a foot in some spirit world. There are many more layers to reality, and that permeates my life and my writing in a very natural way. I don't even think about it. ---->>>

I have lived with passion and in a hurry, trying to accomplish too many things. I never had time to think about my beliefs until my 28-year-old daughter Paula fell ill. She was in a coma for a year, and I took care of her at home until she died in my arms in December of 1992. ---->>>

I never had time to think about my beliefs until my 28-year-old daughter Paula fell ill. She was in a coma for a year, and I took care of her at home until she died in my arms in December of 1992. ---->>>

I rebelled against all form of authority, against my grandfather, my step-father, the Church, the police, the government, the bosses. Everything male that was there, and was determining my life. ---->>>

Before the military coup in Chile, we had the idea that military coups happen in Banana Republics, somewhere in Central America. It would never happen in Chile. Chile was such a solid democracy. And when it happened, it had brutal characteristics. ---->>>

Fear is like a black cavern that is terrifying. Once you enter the cavern and explore it, you realize that you can get out of it, go through it and get out of it. ---->>>

I don't think I would be a writer if I had stayed in Chile. I would be trapped in the chores, in the family, in the person that people expected me to be. ---->>>

I have been a foreigner all my life, first as a daughter of diplomats, then as a political refugee and now as an immigrant in the U.S. I have had to leave everything behind and start anew several times, and I have lost most of my extended family. ---->>>

One of the things that always comes up in my writing is the search for freedom, especially in women. I always write about women who are marginalized, who have no means or resources and somehow manage to get out of those situations with incredible strength - and that is more important than anything. ---->>>

The fact that I am a writer comes from the experience of being cut away from my roots and living in Venezuela, where I couldn't find a place for myself, for years and years.

The fact that I am a writer comes from the experience of being cut away from my roots and living in Venezuela, where I couldn't find a place for myself, for years and years.

The pain of losing my child was a cleansing experience. I had to throw overboard all excess baggage and keep only what is essential. Because of Paula, I don't cling to anything anymore. Now I like to give much more than to receive. ---->>>

There's basically an element of fiction in everything you remember. Imagination and memory are almost the same brain processes. When I write fiction, I know that I'm using a bunch of lies that I've made up to create some form of truth. When I write a memoir, I'm using true elements to create something that will always be somehow fictionalized.

There's basically an element of fiction in everything you remember. Imagination and memory are almost the same brain processes. When I write fiction, I know that I'm using a bunch of lies that I've made up to create some form of truth. When I write a memoir, I'm using true elements to create something that will always be somehow fictionalized.

I have become an American citizen, and I love this country. I think that this country has incredible potential for goodness, an incredible possibility for doing the wrong thing, too. ---->>>

I write until the first draft is finished, and then I feel that I can get out. But, during the time of the writing of the first draft, I don't go out. I'm just locked away, writing. It's a time of meditation, of going into the story. ---->>>

In 2011, I announced that I was going to retire, and my agent panicked. So she says: 'No, no, no. You have to write a book with your husband.' My husband is a writer of crime novels. His name is William Gordon. And so I had to accommodate to his style because that's what he writes. So we decided we'd give it a try. Well, we almost divorced. ---->>>

My mother is a great artist, but she always treated her paintings like minor postcards. Had she pursued it, she would have been a great artist. Instead, she looked down on her art. ---->>>

For real change, we need feminine energy in the management of the world. We need a critical number of women in positions of power, and we need to nurture the feminine energy in men. ---->>>

I try to let go of the intellect and just tell the story. I only read the page I have in front of me on the screen. Then when the whole story is told, I print it, wait a week and read it. ---->>>

Although women do two-thirds of the world's labor, they own less than one percent of the world's assets. ---->>>

Empowering women means trusting them. ---->>>

A man who cooks is very sexy. A woman who cooks is not that sexy. Because it's associated in our mind to the domestic cliche of the woman. ---->>>

I speak English and Spanish. I write in Spanish; my books are published in English. ---->>>

At five I was already a feminist, and nobody used the word in Chile yet. ---->>>

Eros is very close to death. And both things, in a way, balance each other. ---->>>

I feel that telling my secrets makes me less vulnerable. What would make me vulnerable are the secrets I keep. ---->>>

I have been a woman for 46 years and I only recently realized I can't change it and I like it. ---->>>

I'm living in California but I have a place that is mine in Chile and I belong there. I am no longer an exile. ---->>>

It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine. ---->>>

I like historical fiction. I fell in love with New Orleans the first time I visited it. And I wanted to place a story in New Orleans. ---->>>

I never thought that I would come to live in the United States. I was not pursuing the American dream. ---->>>

If I didn't write my soul would dry up and die. ---->>>

The fact that you own a gun and shoot to defend your life is a very American way of thinking. ---->>>

Today's girls are tomorrow's women - and leaders. ---->>>

Writing is a calling, not a choice. ---->>>

Give, give, give - what is the point of having experience, knowledge or talent if I don't give it away? Of having stories if I don't tell them to others? Of having wealth if I don't share it? I don't intend to be cremated with any of it! It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine. ---->>>

I'm very optimistic because I think that the real strength of a nation like the United States comes from blending cultures. There's no way that you can close the frontiers anywhere. The borders are there to be violated permanently. ---->>>

A memoir is my version of events. My perspective. I choose what to tell and what to omit. I choose the adjectives to describe a situation, and in that sense, I'm creating a form of fiction. ---->>>

I have more freedom when I write fiction, but my memoirs have had a much stronger impact on my readers. Somehow the 'message,' even if I am not even aware that there is one, is conveyed better in this form. ---->>>

I am an American citizen and it is my home now. I like the U.S.A., which is not a place too many people have liked since Bush. The U.S. has a young population, and everything can change within a year. ---->>>

I get thousands of letters, and they give me a feeling of how each book is perceived. Often I think I have written about a certain theme, but by reading the letters or reviews, I realise that everybody sees the book differently. ---->>>

I have travelled all over the world and one thing that amazes me is that I can communicate with people. My story may be different but emotionally we are all the same. ---->>>

I never try to give a message in my books. It's about living with characters long enough to hear their voices and let them tell me the story. Sometimes I would love to have a happy ending, and it doesn't happen because the character or the story leads me in another direction. ---->>>

I think that any writer who is commercial, who sells a lot of books, has to face criticism. Because the more hermetic and the more difficult your book is, supposedly it's better. ---->>>

If I can write it, I can cope. And I've been writing many books, but in every book, I try to explore something in my own soul that I need to solve, I need to understand. ---->>>

If you write nonfiction, a historical account of what really happened, first of all, it's always white men who do that, and you don't have the voices that are really interesting to me, of the people who are not sheltered by the big umbrella of the establishment. ---->>>

In the United States, the fact that you can start again gives a lot of energy and strength and youth to this country. That is why it's so powerful in many ways, and so creative. ---->>>

Many fiction writers write for the critics or for themselves; they forget the common reader. I never do. I don't think journalism clashes with my fiction; on the contrary, it helps enormously. ---->>>

The world starts to exist, for Americans, when we are in conflict with a place. And then all of a sudden, Afghanistan pops up on the TV screen and it becomes a place. And it exists for three weeks, and then it disappears into thin air. ---->>>

When I write fiction, I never try to deliver a message; I just want to tell a story. But I admit that I want the story to be memorable and the characters to touch the reader's heart. ---->>>

Everything that has to do with food is sensuous. In the United States, however, we are eating all the time. We have a problem with obesity. And yet, we don't enjoy food that much. ---->>>

I write a letter to my mother every day, because in that letter, I write down my day. And if I don't write it down, then tomorrow I will forget it and it's gone. ---->>>

In the books I have written, I have created in my mind a universe. My kids say I have a village in my head and I live in that village, and it's true. When I start writing a book, characters from previous books reappear. All my emotions, my mind, my heart, my dreams, everything becomes connected with a new book, and nothing else really matters. ---->>>

The fact people think that when you sell a lot of books you are not a serious writer is a great insult to the readership. I get a little angry when people try to say such a thing. ---->>>

The longest, most solid and complex relationship in my life is with my mother. It started before I was born, and now, when I am 71 and living in California and she is 92 and living in Chile, we are still in touch daily. ---->>>

The media could do a much better job, that's for sure, especially the media that targets women... Human rights? They couldn't care less! ---->>>

I was a lousy journalist. I could never be objective. Sometimes I invented the whole story. ---->>>

Unfortunately for my family, they have a writer in the family. ---->>>

I get up every morning early, when the sky is red, and write for 10 hours. ---->>>

I have learned many things in the 30 years that I have been writing. ---->>>

I have written about Chile extensively, and therefore I have read many books on the subject, mostly for research. ---->>>

I like Hillary Clinton a lot. I know her. ---->>>

You couldn't find two people more different than my mother and I. There are a thousand things about me that she fought against. ---->>>

I remember my childhood as a horrible time. My mother says that nothing so horrible ever happened to me as the things that I remember. ---->>>

I try to write the kind of books I like to read. ---->>>

I've been a story-teller all my life but I realized it only recently. ---->>>

Writing is my job. I don't think of it as art. ---->>>

I'm a writer. In Latin America, they say I'm a Latin-American writer because I also write in Spanish and my books are translated, but I am an American citizen and my books are published here, so I'm also an American writer. ---->>>

Everything I write has to be connected to my life. One of the things that always comes up in my writing is the search for freedom, especially in women. ---->>>

I don't think the world will destroy itself in a nuclear cataclysm. On the contrary, we have the capacity to save ourselves and save the planet, and we will use it. ---->>>

I was a very bad journalist. Awful. I would just invent everything. If I did an interview, I had a preconception of what that person should say and I would put my words in his mouth. ---->>>

My mother didn't want me to be a feminist, a radical, political person, because she was scared. She wanted me to be protected and safe, but my life never was. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: Chilean
Born: 08-02, 1942
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Writer
Website:

Isabel Allende (Spanish: [isaˈβel aˈʝende]; born August 2, 1942) is a Chilean-American writer. Allende, whose works sometimes contain aspects of the "magic realist" tradition, is famous for novels such as The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus, 1982) and City of the Beasts (La ciudad de las bestias, 2002), which have been commercially successful. Allende has been called "the world's most widely read Spanish-language author". In 2004, Allende was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2010, she received Chile's National Literature Prize. President Barack Obama awarded her the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Allende's novels are often based upon her personal experience and historical events and pay homage to the lives of women, while weaving together elements of myth and realism. She has lectured and toured many American colleges to teach literature. Fluent in English as a second language, Allende was granted United States citizenship in 1993, having lived in California with her American husband since 1989.(wikipedia)