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California Book Club: Isabel Allende
“The House of the Spirits” author Isabel Allende sits down for a conversation with CBC host John Freeman.

Allende’s debut novel blends history and domestic drama to tell the story of four generations of a family. The setting is a Latin American country a lot like the author’s native Chile, where her cousin Salvador Allende was overthrown in a CIA-assisted coup in 1973. The author herself went into exile, and she began the book as a letter to her dying grandfather while she was living in Venezuela. The result is a novel that operates in a variety of registers. There are magical realism elements here, but to read the book on such terms exclusively is to miss its larger significance. Rather, this is a work in which the political is the personal and characters are defined by not only who they are but also where they’re from.

Mar 16, 2023 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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