Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 596
Allende, Isabel. Paula. Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden. 1st ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1995. A personal memoir that provides autobiographical details about the author’s life and works. Blends real and magical worlds as in The House of the Spirits.
Cunningham, Lucia Guerra, ed. Splintering Darkness: Latin American Women Writers in Search of Themselves. Pittsburgh: Latin American Literary Review Press, 1990. An essay on The House of the Spirits examines the effect of a male narrator’s being controlled, or “framed,” not only by a female writer but by a female narrator as well. In this way, it is suggested that, at least in fiction, women such as Alba can exert power over patriarchs such as Esteban Trueba.
Earle, Peter G. “Literature as Survival: Allende’s The House of the Spirits.” Contemporary Literature 28 (Winter, 1987): 543-554. Earle sees the basic conflict of the novel in Hegelian terms. Esteban Trueba, representing “the blind force of history,” is opposed to Clara, Blanca, and Alba, who have “historical awareness and intuitive understanding.”
Foreman, P. Gabrielle. “Past-On Stories: History and the Magically Real, Morrison and Allende on Call.” Feminist Studies 18 (Summer, 1992): 369-388. A comparison of The House of the Spirits and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon (1977). Notes that Allende attributes magic only to women characters, suggesting that as they transmit their magical powers, so women can preserve history for others through the magic of words.
Gazarian-Gautier, Marie-Lise. Interviews with Latin American Writers. Normal, Ill.: Dalkey Archive Press, 1992. Allende discusses her first three novels and the influence of women’s storytelling in her family. She explains that the loss of her roots and her longing for Chile while in exile led her to write the first book.
Hart, Patricia. Narrative Magic in the Fiction of Isabel Allende. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1989. The chapter on The House of the Spirits expands the definition of “spirits” to include such elements as vision, dreams, and ideals, as well as people, both living and dead. An interesting approach.
Jones, Suzanne W., ed. Writing the Woman Artist: Essays on Poetics, Politics, and Portraiture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991. Critical essays from a feminist perspective. A discussion of The House of the Spirits considers the development of Alba Trueba as a writer.
Morgan, Janice, and Colette T. Hall, eds. Redefining Autobiography in...
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