Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Passionate Writing

Tales of Passion ~ Isabel Allende


I don’t have many “Favorite Authors”—I love quite a few, like many, could care less about some

One of my favorites is Isabel Allende:

“…acclaimed author of 22 books which have been translated into 35 languages and have sold more than 57 million copies. She holds 12 international honorary doctorates and has received 50 awards in more than 15 countries. Her works have been adapted for movies, plays, musicals, operas, ballets, radio programs and two international movies.”

A few of Isabel’s words on writing from Maria Popova’s site:

“I need to tell a story. It’s an obsession. Each story is a seed inside of me that starts to grow and grow, like a tumor, and I have to deal with it sooner or later. Why a particular story? I don’t know when I begin. That I learn much later. Over the years I’ve discovered that all the stories I’ve told, all the stories I will ever tell, are connected to me in some way. If I’m talking about a woman in Victorian times who leaves the safety of her home and comes to the Gold Rush in California, I’m really talking about feminism, about liberation, about the process I’ve gone through in my own life, escaping from a Chilean, Catholic, patriarchal, conservative, Victorian family and going out into the world.”

“It’s so important for me, finding the precise word that will create a feeling or describe a situation. I’m very picky about that because it’s the only material we have: words. But they are free. No matter how many syllables they have: free! You can use as many as you want, forever.”

“I try to write beautifully, but accessibly. In the romance languages, Spanish, French, Italian, there’s a flowery way of saying things that does not exist in English. My husband says he can always tell when he gets a letter in Spanish: the envelope is heavy. In English a letter is a paragraph. You go straight to the point. In Spanish that’s impolite. Reading in English, living in English, has taught me to make language as beautiful as possible, but precise.”

And, finally:

“Fiction happens in the womb. It doesn’t get processed in the mind until you do the editing.”

So, to feel some of the passion of her words, catch her concern for women’s issues, and enjoy her spirited humor, watch this captivating video

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