Isabel Allende's memoir begins with the author lying wide awake on an exceptionally stormy Californian night. She is disturbed not, by the ferocious wind or the rain but, by a superstitious fear. For it is the eve of 8 January, the day on which for the past 25 years she has always begun the writing of a new book. She feels that if she starts on any other day, the work will be a failure.Read More
All this is very typical of Allende, who,, by her own admission, inhabits a world full of melodrama, premonitions, omens and spiritual encounters. Her family history is so extraordinary that she needed to look little further for inspiration for the characters that make up such a fantastical saga as her first, most successful novel, The House of Spirits. Unsurprisingly, as she confesses, such a legacy made her unable for much of her life to separate fantasy from reality.
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