Born on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarité—known as Tété—is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, he purchases young Tété for his bride. Yet it is he who will become dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.Against the merciless backdrop of sugar cane fields, the lives of Tété and Valmorain grow ever more intertwined. When the bloody revolution of Toussaint Louverture arrives, they flee the brutal conditions of the French colony that will become Haiti for the raucous, free-wheeling enterprise of New Orleans. There, Tété finally forges a new life, but her connection to Valmorain is deeper than anyone knows and not easily severed. Isabel Allende crafts the riveting story of one woman's determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been so battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruelest of circumstances.
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.