The feminist author is known for the strong portrayals of women she gives in her works. Born into a Chilean family with political ties, she went into exile in the United States in the 1970s – an event that, she believes, created her as a writer.

Isabel’s novels are often based upon her personal experience and historical events and pay homage to the lives of women, while weaving together elements of myth and realism. Granted US citizenship in 1993, she has lectured and toured many US colleges to teach literature.

Her books are known for their vivid storytelling – in My Invented Country, she has written about her vision of her lost Chile and in Paula, movingly tells the story of her life to her daughter who died at 28 years old. Her novels have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold more than 56 million copies.

The Isabel Allende Foundation ( works with nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Chile to empower and protect women and girls – understanding that empowering women is the only true route to social and economic justice.

“I was born in ancient times, at the end of the world, in a patriarchal Catholic and conservative family. No wonder that by age five I was a raging feminist – although the term had not reached Chile yet, so nobody knew what the heck was wrong with me.”