(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

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...

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