My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey through Chile

My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey through Chile

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Overview

My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey through Chile by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende's first memory of Chile is of a house she never knew. The "large old house" on the Calle Cueto, where her mother was born and which her grandfather evoked so frequently that Isabel felt as if she had lived there, became the protagonist of her first novel, The House of the Spirits. It appears again at the beginning of Allende's playful, seductively compelling memoir My Invented Country, and leads us into this gifted writer's world.

Here are the almost mythic figures of a Chilean family — grandparents and great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends — with whom readers of Allende's fiction will feel immediately at home. And here, too, is an unforgettable portrait of a charming, idiosyncratic Chilean people with a violent history and an indomitable spirit. Although she claims to have been an outsider in her native land — "I never fit in anywhere, not into my family, my social class, or the religion fate bestowed on me" — Isabel Allende carries with her even today the mark of the politics, myth, and magic of her homeland. In My Invented County, she explores the role of memory and nostalgia in shaping her life, her books, and that most intimate connection to her place of origin.

Two life-altering events inflect the peripatetic narration of this book: The military coup and violent death of her uncle, Salvador Allende Gossens, on September 11, 1973, sent her into exile and transformed her into a writer. The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, on her newly adopted homeland, the United States, brought forth from Allende an overdue acknowledgment that she had indeed left home. My Invented Country, whose structure mimics the workings of memory itself, ranges back and forth across that distance accrued between the author's past and present lives. It speaks compellingly to immigrants, and to all of us, who try to retain a coherent inner life in a world full of contradictions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060545642
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/27/2003
Edition description: 1ST US
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.62(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Isabel Allende is the author of twelve works of fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and a novel that has become a world-renowned classic, The House of the Spirits. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.

Hometown:

San Rafael, California

Date of Birth:

August 2, 1942

Place of Birth:

Lima, Peru

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My Invented Country 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a gift to my youngest sister who is not an avid reader, so since I needed something to read on the train ride to and from work I decided to give it a shot. I couldn't put it down and found myself telling some parts of it to the rest of my family. I have even found myself laughing while reading some parts! It is a very personal journey and I felt that I have learned a lot about the Chilean culture and Allende herself. She is a graceful writer and her style is capturing. It is the first book I read from Allende and cannot wait to pick up another one. I reccomend this book to anyone and the plus is that it is an easy read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My Invented Country is Isabel Allende¿s best book yet. This amazing biography takes the reader on a poetic journey though Ms. Allende¿s young life. Her writing is stellar and poetic. This book is to be savored for its beauty of language. Writers dream of crafting sentences like these. Lovers of language will adore this book for its symmetry and grace. Readers of all ages will love it for its beautiful and absorbing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
chiforova More than 1 year ago
I read it in Spanish and I loved it. I had read some of her books, many years ago but for some reason I lost track of this author. She really is a very good writer. I couldn't put this book down,which I found easy to read and very entertaining( Allende has a great sense of humor). I recommend it as a very, very , good read.
SphinxFeathers More than 1 year ago
Emotional and elegant, Allende writes about both her past and her country's. Beautiful and provocative, the reader can't help but be drawn into each page. From the beginning to the end, you'll find you won't want to put this book down.
queenvicky More than 1 year ago
This is not one of Isabel Allende's best books but it is an interesting look at a country and people I didn't understand. She is always precise and doesn't flinch as she desribes herself and her contry.It helped me appreciate lots of the things I remember from "House of the Spirits." Enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Isabel Allende is a captivating writer, one who can spin tales of intrigue and magical mystery as well as any of our Latin American writers. There is much that could be said about Allende's writing style: she moves from colloquial, humorous conversation and sharing to a manner of relating history in the form of the best historian writers. And it all works. Throughout the book Allende warmly describes just what makes Chile and its people unique and the information is not only fascinating but warmly charming. And then she very astutely takes us by the hand and for the last third of the book shares with us the political history of Chile over the last 200 years. Of course she is intimate with the Allende years, being part of that family that was forced into exile with the toppled government, but she does not present an acrid, angry stance but rather an optimistic view of the peoples' ability to change from Christian Democracy to dictatorship under Pinochet. For the first time this reader came away with the feeling that the entire process is understandable. Allende never forgets that she has been a stranger in different countries all her life, that the Chile she knows is as much a part of nostalgia as it is fact. This book was written from her home in San Francisco and she shares with us the following insight: 'But that is how nostalgia is: a slow dance in a large circle. Memories don't organize themselves chronologically, they're like smoke, changing, ephemeral, and if they're not written down they fade into oblivion.' This is a warm insight into the mind of one of our important writers of the day. Highly recommended. Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a Chilean immigrant to the USA, I was so glad to find this book that so accurately, and enjoyably describe my country ans its people. I bought the book in English because I want my 'gringo friends' to read it and learn a lot more about me and the place I come from. I read this book during my flights all over the USA, since I am a Flight Attendant, and I still remember the look on the faces of my co-workers when I couldn't just hold a loud laughter, as I read the description of Chileans that Isabel so smartly makes in her book. I don't go around wearing a t-shirt with the Chilean flag on my chest, but OH GOD, aren't I Chilean from head to toe. Thanks to Isabel for a magnificent book that touched my heart!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Iwon't read the rules, sorry. My life in Chile, 40 years, has been almost equal to Isabels, except the political part of it (i.e. her uncle's death during the coup). Her descriptions of people, their thoughts, feelings, oddities, depth, valor, vigor, dedication, also faults and strange beliefs, however well intentioned, are all similar to my familiy's, friends and many acquaintances. My doctor recent told me after a regular bloodwork: Hannes, you have to much blood in your chilean circulation...... I am taking this book for a 2nd reading during my flight back to my country, in a few weeks. Isabel, le has dado al 'clavo en la cabeza', y me has despertado nuevamente una anoranza y nostalgia por Chile que nunca dejo de existir desde el dia que llegue a USA. Y que me tengan un balde listo para mis lagrimas, cuando aparezca mi tierra debajo del avion. Gracias por este magnifico y emotivo libro.