Allende illuminates U.Va. audience
She begins a new novel or writing project every
Jan. 8, then lights a candle. Its a ritual that has helped
create such works as The House of the Spirits.
year, 10 days after her annual ceremony, novelist Isabel Allende
(foreground) talked about her work to a standing-room-only crowd
in Old Cabell Hall.
professor David T. Gies (background), who moderated the Friday
evening event, said Allendes appeal as a writer mesmerizes
audiences. Shes a very compelling author and she writes
stories we can all identify with, he said.
was a visiting professor in U.Va.s Spanish department in
1988. But her connection to this place began when her daughter,
Paula, was a teaching assistant in the Spanish department in 1987
while she worked on a masters in psychology. She succumbed
to a rare hereditary disease in 1992.
worked as a journalist in Latin America for several years following
the 1973 assassination of her uncle, Chilean president Salvador
Allende. Since then, she has written several best-selling novels,
the most recent of which is Portrait in Sepia, published in 2000.
Jan. 18 lecture was sponsored by the Spanish,
Italian and Portuguese department and several other Arts &
Sciences programs, and was followed with a book signing.