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Isabel Allende

  • ... far away from my country I would be like those trees they chop down at Christmastime, those poor rootless pines that last a little while and then die.

  • Many children fly like birds, guess other people's dreams, and speak with ghosts, but ... they all outgrow it when they lose their innocence.

  • Photographs deceive time, freezing it on a piece of cardboard where the soul is silent.

  • How can one not speak about war, poverty, and inequality when people who suffer from these afflictions don't have a voice to speak?

    • Isabel Allende,
    • in Marie-Lise Gazarian-Gautiez, Interviews with Latin American Writers ()
  • ... California, the last frontier, the goal of adventurers, desperadoes, nonconformists, fugitives from justice, undiscovered geniuses, impenitent sinners, and hopeless lunatics, a place where even today every possible formula for avoiding the anguish of living proliferates. ... There is something in the air of the place that agitates the spirit. Or maybe those who came to populate the region were in such a hurry to find their fortune — or easy oblivion — that their soul lagged behind, and they are still looking for it. Uncounted charlatans have profited from this phenomenon, offering magic formulas to fill the painful void left by the absent spirit.

  • Olga discovered that there are only two kinds of illness: those that are fatal and those that heal themselves in their proper time.

  • We've lost our sense of ethics; we live in a world of small-mindedness, of gratification without happiness and actions with meaning.

  • Boredom, Timothy Duane assured me, is nothing more than anger without passion.

  • Every person is born with a talent, and happiness depends on discovering that talent in time ...

  • Love is music, and sex is only the instrument...

  • ... sex is the instrument and love the music ...

  • You spend the first part of your life collecting things, she said, and the second half getting rid of them.

  • At my age days dissolve like salt in water; the day's gone and I don't even know what I've done with the hours.

  • ... my husband, who is a lawyer, is very careful with words and with the truth. He thinks that the truth exists, and it's something that is beyond questioning, which I think is totally absurd. I have several versions of how we met and how wonderful he was and all that. At least twenty. And I'm sure that they are all true. He has one. And I'm positive that it's not true.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • in Naomi Epel, Writers Dreaming ()
  • You write a book and it's like putting a message in a bottle and throwing it in the ocean. You don't know if it will ever reach any shores. And there, you see, sometimes it falls in the hands of the right person.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • in Naomi Epel, Writers Dreaming ()
  • [On the penis:] It is given names of tools and weapons, and even said to have supernatural powers, but in fact it fits inside a tin of sardines.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • in Newsweek ()
  • Cooking can be like foreplay.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • in Writer's Digest ()
  • Everyone is born with some special talent ...

  • The things we forget may as well never have happened, but she had many memories, both real and illusory, and that was like living twice.

  • ... if we don't begin by imagining the perfect society, how shall we create one?

  • You only have what you give. It's by spending yourself that you become rich.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • talk ()
  • ... Aphrodite is about lust and gluttony — the only two sins worth committing, in my opinion.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • talk ()
  • People think that they will sit down and produce the great American novel in one sitting. It doesn't work that way. This is a very patient and meticulous work, and you have to do it with joy and love for the process, not for the outcome.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • in Writer's Digest ()
  • We are too connected. There's noise in our heads all the time.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • in Patt Morrison, "A Life of Letters," Los Angeles Times ()
  • ... fiction happens in the belly, it doesn't happen in the brain.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • in Patt Morrison, "A Life of Letters," Los Angeles Times ()
  • Humanity has this need to hear stories because they connect us with other people, they teach us about our own feelings. We feel less lonely when we see other people going through the same things, even if they're fictional characters.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • in Patt Morrison, "A Life of Letters," Los Angeles Times ()
  • After fifty most of the bullshit is gone.

    • Isabel Allende
  • For women the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time.

  • You are the storyteller of your own life and you can create your own legend or not.

    • Isabel Allende
  • You can tell the deepest truths with the lies of fiction.

    • Isabel Allende
  • Heroism is a badly remunerated occupation, and often it leads to an early end, which is why it appeals to fanatics or persons with an unhealthy fascination with death.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • Zorro
    • ()
  • Someone has said that conversation is sex for the soul.

  • Copying one author is plagiarism; copying many is research.

  • Cheese is milk teeming with bacteria, and everything else is wishful thinking.

  • He realized ... that the loudest are the least sincere, that arrogance is a quality of the ignorant, and that flatterers tend to be vicious.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • Zorro
    • ()
  • Silence before being born, silence after death: life is nothing but noise between two unfathomable silences.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • Paula
    • ()
  • Erotica is using a feather; pornography is using the whole chicken.

    • Isabel Allende
  • Writing is like making love. Don't worry about the orgasm, just concentrate on the process.

    • Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende, Chilean novelist, journalist, activist

(1942)