Isabel Allende

Lori Bara

Isabel Allende

Past Event: Tuesday, November 28, 2017

At Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

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Literary Arts

Called “the world’s most widely read Spanish language author,” Chilean-American novelist Isabel Allende, featured in SAL’s first season, returned with her latest, In the Midst of Winter. She was in conversation with SAL Executive Director Ruth Dickey about her extraordinary career.

Allende won worldwide acclaim at age forty when her bestselling first novel, The House of the Spirits, was published in 1982. In addition to catapulting Allende into literary stardom, the book, which grew out of a farewell letter to her dying grandfather, also established her as a feminist force in Latin America’s masculine literary world. In the words of critic Mary Ellen Snodgrass, “Her artistry has added to the male-dominant Western literary canon powerfully honest, revelatory works by female and non-European authors who touch the pulse points of humankind.”

A prominent journalist for Chilean television and magazines in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Allende’s life was forever altered when General Augusto Pinochet led a military coup in 1973 that toppled Chile’s socialist reform government. Allende’s cousin Salvador Allende, who had been elected Chile’s president in 1970, died in the coup. The Pinochet regime was marked early on by repression and brutality, and Allende became involved with groups offering aid to victims of the regime. Ultimately finding it unsafe to remain in Chile, she fled the country in 1975 with her husband and two children. The family lived in exile in Venezuela for the next 13 years.

Allende’s books, all written in her native Spanish, have been translated into more than 35 languages and have sold more than 67 million copies. Her works both entertain and educate readers by weaving intriguing stories with significant historical events. Settings for her books include Chile throughout the 15th, 19th and 20th centuries, the California gold rush, the guerrilla movement of 1960s Venezuela, the Vietnam War, and the slave revolt in Haiti in the 18th century. Allende, who has received dozens of international tributes and awards over the last 30 years, describes her fiction as “realistic literature,” rooted in her remarkable upbringing. Her writings are equally informed by her feminist convictions, her commitment to social justice, and the harsh political realities that shaped her destiny.

In addition to her work as a writer, Allende devotes much of her time to human rights. Following the death of her daughter in 1992, she established the Isabel Allende Foundation to support the empowerment of women worldwide. Since 1987, Allende has made her home in the San Francisco Bay Area. The author became a U.S. citizen in 1993, but, as she says, she lives with one foot in California and the other in Chile.

Selected Works:

Fiction
The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus,1982)
Eva Luna (1987)
Daughter of Fortune (Hija de la fortuna,1999)
Portrait in Sepia (Retrato en sepia, 2000)
Ines of My Soul (Inés del alma mía, 2006)
Island Beneath the Sea (La isla bajo el mar, 2010)
The Japanese Lover (El amante japonés, 2015)
In the Midst of Winter (forthcoming 2017)

Non-Fiction
Paula
(1994)
My Invented Country: A Memoir (Mi país inventado, 2003)
The Sum of Our Days: A Memoir (La suma de los días, 2008)

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, the largest event space at Benaroya Hall. 

Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Bus
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by bus and light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

Parking
The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.

Accessibility

All of our venues have accessible seating and listening devices available. Please contact us at sal@lectures.org or 206.621.2230 x10 for more details and to let us know you’re coming so we can better accommodate your needs.