Isabel Allende’s personal exile from Chile began with the assassination of her uncle Salvador Allende Gossens on September 11, 1973. She remembers the magnificent landscapes of her country, a charming people with a violent history, and the politics, religion, myth and magic of her homeland. She speaks not only to immigrants, but to all who try to retain a coherent inner life in a world full of contradictions.
This edition is translated from Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden and is part of Hewitt’s Lightning Literature & Composition curriculum. From our Guide by Brenda S. Cox:
My Invented Country is a beautiful tribute to Allende’s native land, Chile. The cover says it is a memoir (MEM-wahr). This usually means it is autobiographical, telling a life story. Though the book does contain reminiscences of Allende’s life, it is more of an enchanting description of her country and its people, a delightful and humorous rendition of their strengths and their faults. Memoir can also mean ‘a narrative composed from personal experience,’ and that definition is more applicable here. Allende intertwines stories from her life and family with her descriptions, which are also based on her memories, which she says are ‘like smoke, changing, ephemeral.’