Monday, August 2, 2010
Her father's cousin, Salvador Allende, became Chile's first elected socialist president. But on September 11, 1973, a military coup led by General Pinochet overthrew the government and assassinated Salvador Allende. Isabel and all her family were put on a wanted list and received death threats, so they fled to Venezuela.
While she was in Venezuela, Isabel Allende found out that her beloved grandfather was dying in Chile, and she couldn't go back to see him. So she started to write him a letter, to reassure him that she wouldn't forget all his stories and memories.
It became her first novel, The House of the Spirits (1985), a novel of magical realism that tells the story of four generations of the Trueba family and their lives in Chile from the turn of the century through the coup.
-The Writer's Almanac