Isabel Allende garnered immediate attention and international acclaim with the 1982 publication of House of Spirits. Allende drew favorable comparisons to male Latin American writers who were dominating a boom movement that mixed political and magical themes. Yet her engaging epic became a bestseller based on its artistic merit, regardless of gender issues, and her ensuing output of fiction and nonfiction continued to establish her esteemed place in the literary ranks. This Critical Companion introduces readers to Allende's writings with accessible literary analysis of her six novels, featuring discussions of plot, character development, thematic concerns and style, historical contexts, and alternative critical perspectives.
A fascinating biographical chapter traces Allende's journey from wife, mother, and journalist in Chile to internationally acclaimed author. Her life story—as stimulating as her novels—offer students and readers a better understanding of the historical and political forces that informed her work. The Literary Heritage chapter provides will deepen readers' appreciation for Allende's contributions to, and place in, the Latin American literary tradition. A select bibliography includes reviews and resources that will be especially useful for student research projects.
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