timeline

born 1942

Isabel Allende was born into a prominent political family in Chile during a time of national turmoil. Her first-hand experiences with dramatic personal and social tragedy compelled her to write as a "testimony" of "what should not be forgotten."

Growing up in a conservative, male-dominated society, she became a "raging feminist," who has "worked with women and for women all [her] life." Isabel took jobs as a journalist, editor and television host before the death of grandfather inspired her to write him a letter that would become her first novel. Twenty books later, Isabel is an internationally recognized author whose narratives continue to give us "tales of passion" that mix politics and social justice with mystery, myth and magic.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Isabel Allende (22)

"Just as when we come into the world, when we die we are afraid of the unknown. But the fear is something from within us that has nothing to do with reality. Dying is like being born: just a change."

The House of the Spirits | 1982

"Write what should not be forgotten."

Paths of Resistance: The Art and Craft of the Political Novel | october 1989

"For women, the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time."

Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses | 1999

"Real soup is to the body what peace is to the soul."

Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses | april 1999

"The longer I live, the more uninformed I feel. Only the young have an explanation for everything."

City of the Beasts | 2002

"My worst flaw is that I tell secrets, my own and everybody else's."

My Invented Country: A Memoir | 2004

"I am not one of those women who trips twice over the same stone."

Ines of My Soul | 2006

"It makes no sense to suffer in advance a misfortune that may never occur."

Ines of My Soul | 2006

"Heroism is a badly remunerated occupation."

Zorro | 2006

"I want to convey something that is truer than truth."

Tales of Passion | march 2007

"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."

Tales of Passion | march 2007

"Feminism is not dead, by no means. It has evolved. If you don't like the term, change it, for Goodness' sake."

Tales of Passion | march 2007

"It’s in giving that one becomes rich . . . Stuff is irrelevant."

San Domenico School graduation address | june 2010

"Happiness is completely overrated. There is nothing wrong with some struggle and pain. For a life fully lived, you will have to take risks and suffer. And so what? According to my mother, if nothing hurts, you are dead."

San Domenico School graduation address | june 2010

"Your mission is to create the ethics of the second millennium and dream the future. I want to be part of your team."

San Domenico School graduation address | june 2010

"Stuff is irrelevant. Sooner or later we have to throw overboard our possessions, vanities, and ambitions; only the good we have done matters."

San Domenico School graduation address | june 2010

"[Words] are free. No matter how many syllables they have: free! You can use as many as you want, forever."

Why We Write | january 2013

"Writing is always giving some order to the chaos of life."

Why We Write | january 2013

"When I was young, I often felt desperate: so much pain in the world and so little I could do to alleviate it! But now I look back at my life and feel satisfied because few days went by without me at least trying to make a difference."

About Isabel | 2014

"The Dalai Lama is someone who has aged beautifully, but who wants to be vegetarian and celibate?"

How to live passionately - no matter your age | march 2014

"Retirement in Spanish is jubilación. Jubilation. Celebration. We have paid our dues. We have contributed to society. Now it's our time, and it's a great time."

How to live passionately - no matter your age | march 2014

"Heart is what drives us and determines our destiny."

Isabel Allende's Facebook page | august 2014
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Isabel Allende

curated with care by Alicia Williamson {june 2014}