Isabel Allende’s Writing of the Self : Trespassing the Boundaries of Fiction and Autobiography

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This book is the first to look at all Allende’s fictional narratives to date, from The House of the Spirits to Portrait in Sepia, from the point of view of autobiography studies, and the re-creation of self-identity that takes place throughout her works.


“The work has many strengths. Firstly, it provides an important overview of Allende’s work. To date, I think it is fair to say that few critics have taken as comprehensive an approach to this writer. Another strength is the breadth of Ms. Ramblado’s analysis: she is able to draw on a range of literary genres, movements and traditions, examining Allende’s work both within and against their conventions and objectives….offers a rigorous analysis of questions of genre, and many helpful distinctions between autobiography, testimonio, the autobiographical novel and fictional autobiography…. Allende’s fiction is popular among students, and this book will certainly represent a welcome addition to any list of recommended reading…. Final chapter addresses female characterization in all Allende’s novels, thereby drawing together many of the threads of ‘self-writing’ addressed previously.” – Dr. Lorna Shaughnessy, National University of Ireland, Galway

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Preface; Introduction
1. Autobiography and Self-Writing
2. Fictionalising Strategies and Their Allegorical Power
3. Geographical Distance: The Condition of Exile
4. Isabel Allende’s Narratives of Formation
5. Isabel Allende’s Women: “All water in the same rushing torrent”
Bibliography; Index

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