Award-winning author Isabel Allende to speak at Fairfield University

Award-winning author Isabel Allende to speak at Fairfield University

Image: Isabel Allende Isabel Allende, acclaimed author of such memorable books as "The House of the Spirits," "Daughter of Fortune" and her latest novel, "Zorro," will deliver the lecture, "Stories and Dreams: An Evening with Isabel Allende," on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Allende's appearance is part of Open VISIONS Forum, a program of University College, in collaboration with Pequot Library of Southport.

Born in Chile in 1942, Allende started her career as a journalist for women's and children's magazines and in television shows and documentaries. From 1975 through 1984, she was a reporter for the Venezuelan newspaper, El Nacional.

She burst on the literary scene in 1982 with her first novel, "The House of the Spirits," a haunting epic spanning three generations of the Trueba family. The book was named Best Novel of the Year in Chile and received that country's "Panorama Literario" award and lavish praise from international reviewers.

"Nothing short of astonishing," wrote Jane Futcher for the San Francisco Chronicle. "In 'The House of the Spirits,' Isabel Allende has indeed shown us the relationships between past and present, family and nation, city and country, spiritual and political values. She has done so with enormous imagination, sensitivity and compassion."

She's followed her impressive debut with a dozen other novels, short story collections and works for young adults, several of which have won awards internationally. She is the recipient of France's 1984 Grand Prix d'Evasion award, Switzerland's 1987 Book of the Year honors and the 1998 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award in the United States, as well as honorary degrees from Bates College, New York State University and Illinois Wesleyan University, among others.

Over the years, Allende's works have been translated into more than 27 languages and have become best sellers in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia. Her 1999 novel, "Daughter of Fortune," won a coveted spot on the Oprah book club list.

Allende's latest novel, "Zorro," a vivid retelling of the Zorro legend, was released in May, fast on the heels of her latest young adult novel, "Forest of the Pygmies," the final installment in a trilogy for teens that also includes "City of the Beasts" and "Kingdom of the Golden Dragon." Both books share her trademark lyricism and fast-paced storytelling.

As fond as she is of sweeping sagas, Allende tells readers she felt strange composing a traditional biography for her official website. Instead she chose to simply list dates, events and achievements in her life.

"In reality the most important things about one's life happen in the secret chambers of the heart and cannot be included in a list like this," she wrote. "I think that my most significant achievement is not my writing, but the love I share with my family."

Allende's appearance is sponsored, in part, by Moffly Publications, Inc. and Bank of America. In addition to the Open VISIONS lecture, Pequot Library is sponsoring three free public events regarding Allende, including a book discussion of "The House of the Spirits" on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the library. Marie Sourieau, Ph.D., associate professor of Modern Language and director of the Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Fairfield University, will lead the discussion.

Tickets to Allende's talk are $28, $23.50 for senior citizens. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. A special Patrons Dinner with the Author and Pre-Lecture Reception to support Open VISIONS Forum and Pequot Library is open to all with premium seats for the lecture. For information on joining this patronage special event, contact Elizabeth Hastings at 254-4000, ext. 2688. For more information on the Pequot events, call (203) 259-0346.

Posted On: 09-21-2005 10:09 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 26