Isabel Allende

In January 8, 1981, I was living in Venezuela and I received a phone call that my beloved grandfather was dying. I began a letter for him that later became my first novel, The House of The Spirits. It was such a lucky book from the very beginning, that I kept that lucky date to start. -- Isabel Allende

Chilean novelist Isabel Allende (1942- ), niece of Salvador Allende, author of The House of the Spirits, Daughter of Fortune and City of the Beasts, is regarded as one of Latin America's leading novelists.

In her techniques of story telling Isabel Allende is often compared to Gabriel García Márquez.

Isabel Allende founded the Isabel Allende Foundation in memory of her daughter Paula. The Foundation is "dedicated to supporting programs that promote and preserve the fundamental rights of women and children to be empowered and protected."

I started the Isabel Allende Foundation on December 9, 1996 to pay homage to my daughter, Paula Frias. Paula's untimely death in 1992 broke my heart. She was only twenty-eight years old when she died, a graceful and spiritual young woman, the light of our family.

During her short life Paula worked as a volunteer in poor communities in Venezuela and Spain offering her time, her total dedication and her skills as an educator and psychologist. She cared deeply for others. When in doubt, her motto was: What is the most generous thing to do? My foundation, based on her ideals of service and compassion, was created to continue her work.

Seed funding for the foundation came from the income I received from Paula, a memoir I wrote after her death. To this day, I get innumerable letters from people touched by Paula's spirit.

Since 1996, I have contributed to the foundation annually with income from my other books.

It is a wonderful truth that things we want most in life a sense of purpose, happines and hope are most easily attained by giving them to others.

Isabel Allende's book Paula is a memoir of her childhood in Santiago, and her years in exile. It was written in the form of a letter to her daughter Paula, who lay in a coma in the hospital.

Isabel Allende currently resides in California along with her husband, having adopted American citizenship in 2003.

Novels by Isabel Allende have been registered as BookCrossing books.

BookCrossing books are released into the wild and their progress tracked through the Internet via a unique Book Crossing ID (BCID).

(c) Keith Parkins 2007 -- November 2007 rev 0