an writer and niece of deposed and (allegedly) assassinated Chilean President, Salvador Allende
Although Chilean by nationality, Isabel was born in Lima, Peru in 1942 where her father, Tomas Allende was a diplomatic official. Both Isabel's father and step-father were diplomats and Allende spent much of her childhood in Bolivia and Beirut where her step-father was appointed.
Allende began her writing career as a journalist, writing for and later assisting with editing of, the woman's magazine Paula. Allende also contributed to several children's magazines, including Mambato. She also created popular programs for Chilean television.
Allende remained in Chile for two years after the coup staged by General Agosto Pinochet Ugarte which deposed her Uncle, but in 1975 moved with her family to Venezuela. In 1979, she moved again, this time to the United States.
Allende published her first novel, The House of the Spirits in 1982, and immediately garnered international attention. The novel was a complex multi-generational story, told in the magical realism style replete with criticisms of the landed gentry in Chile and the coup that toppled Salvador Allende's term as president.
Allende has since written several other novels, including The Infinite Plan, Of Love and Shadows and Daughter of Fortune. There have been film version of House of the Spirits and Of Love and Shadows.