What are the most important things in life? How can we experience them deeply, and how do we learn from them? Isabel Allende is a master of these questions, having wrestled with profound losses in her life as well as experiencing great love, pain and joy. She has the gift of articulating these feelings with depth and sensitivity, both in her writings and in these words about her political family background in Chile, the death of her daughter and the things that give her strength in life. “This idea that we should avoid pain no matter what is crazy,” she says, “because it separates us from the experience of the sacred. We are in touch with the deepest part of ourselves through pain and extreme love.” You will be moved and inspired by the graceful wisdom radiating from this woman’s life.
Allende is the author of many books including The House of the Spirits (Bantam 1986) and Paula (HarperCollins 1995).
Topics Explored in this Dialogue:
- The depths we can reach through pain and love
- The compelling story of her daughter’s death
- Her mother’s advice during her time of mourning
- The impossibility of objectivity in journalism and in life
- Her meeting with Pablo Neruda, and his professional advice to her
- Her experience of the military coup that drove her out of Chile
- How to respond to evil in the world
- Racism and Latin stereotypes in the United States
- The birth of her granddaughter
- Her own spirituality in the absence of simple faith
- How the women in her family preserve their lineage of strength
Program Number: 2522 Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 4/10/1995