The well-known bestselling author Isabel Allende, originally from Chile, came to Chicago to receive the prestigious 2013 Carl Sandburg Literary Award on Oct. 23. She also made an appearance on Oct. 22 at the Harold Washington Library where she read from her new upcoming book “Ripper” (coming out in January 2014), answered questions from the audience and shared stories from her personal and professional life.
“I am honored that people respect my work and it is recognized. The best reward is the response of the readers,” said Allende.
Even though many refer to Allende’s writing as a mystic realism, she says that she feels very comfortable with the spiritual world and that makes her writing natural. “My writing is no different from life. I don’t remember people, dates, names, faces, but I remember a story. I will always see the world as magical,” said Allende.
“It is my daughter’s birthday today. I feel my daughter with me all the time,” said Allende in regards to her deceased daughter Paula, whose story became one of her bestselling books. When asked how she coped with the pain, she said that she took the advice of her mother. “We can’t go through life without pain. It’s a long dark tunnel to walk alone step by step. I can promise if you keep walking, there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
As of now, Allende has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, has 30 books published and her work has been translated in more than 30 languages.
“Don’t make a plan. Just let it be,” said Allende as advice to young and inspiring writers.
This post is also available in: Spanish