In her contribution to NPR's This I Believe series, novelist Isabelle Allende reflects on how her daughter's life--and death--taught her that "In Giving I Connect With Others".
This I Believe is a National Public Radio program that features Americans, from the famous to the unknown, completing the thought that begins with the series title. The pieces that make up the program compel listeners to re-think not only what and how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs, but also the extent to which they share them with others.
Featuring a star-studded list of contributors that includes John McCain, Isabel Allende, and Colin Powell, as well as pieces from the original 1950's series including Helen Keller and Jackie Robinson, the This I Believe collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer, a woman who sells yellow pages advertising in Fort Worth, TX and a man who serves on the state of Rhode Island's parole board. The result is a stirring, funny and always provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of Americans whose beliefs, and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them, reveal the American spirit at its best.
This short audio essay is an excerpt from the audiobook edition of the This I Believe anthology.
It is a good person who is a world renowned author, but says her best achievement is not her books, but the love she shares with a few people, especially her family, and having always tried to help people. Such are the thoughts of Isabel Allende, a Chilean author who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Hussein Obama. She has written: The House of the Spirits, and City of the Beasts. Her novels are considered to be the genre of magical realism. They are usually based on her own experiences, historical events, and pay homage to the lives of women. She also uses elements of myth and realism.
Allende was born in Lima, Peru. Her father was a cousin to Salvador Allende, the President of Chile from 1970 to 1973. Her father left her mother, so Isabel ended up moving to many places when her mother married a diplomat. In 1962 Isabel married an engineering student, when she moved back to Chile to complete her secondary education. She then led a dual life as obedient wife and mother, but in public was Barbara Cartland, well-known tv personality, a dramatist, and journalist with a feminine magazine.
Allende had jobs with the United Nations in Santiago, then Brussels and elsewhere. In Chile she translated books from English to Spanish, but was fired because she made some changes on her own (which were not appreciated) and was altering some endings from "happily ever after", to allow the heroine some independence to do good in the world.
She now runs the Isabel Allende Foundation, founded in 1996 to honor the author's daughter Paula Frias, who passed away at age 29. They award life-changing grants to women to improve their care.
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