Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Interview with Isabel Allende

Jackie McGlone interviews Isabel Allende
Isabel Allende does everything in Spanish – she dreams, cooks, yells at her beloved grandchildren when they're naughty and, of course, writes her bestselling books in her native language. "I even make love in Spanish. I would feel a fool panting in English," she says, greedily spooning the chocolatey froth off her cappuccino.
"It is decaffeinated, isn't it?" she asks the waitress in the London hotel in which she is staying on her British book tour. "If I have any more caffeine, I will be like this," impersonating a silken-clad jumping bean. "I am too much that way anyway."

She can say that again. Allende may be tiny but she packs a powerful, passionate punch, both in print and in person. She is, she alleges, a lipsticked Amazon who slays her own dragons.

Although she claims to be jet-lagged after flying from London to Barcelona, with her husband Willie Gordon – for the day for the city's Book Day, when everyone is given a book and a red rose – she looks wonderful. Gamine featured, with an enviably smooth, pale complexion and lively, watchful eyes the colour of dark chocolate, she is a fierce 65 years old, although she sure as hell doesn't look it. Which, knocking on wood, she attributes to good health and incontinent greed.

"I love dark coffee, wine, chocolate, caviar and vodka, rich, spicy food – everything that's bad for you. I don't stint myself."
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