Title Image - Quotes by Author Isabel AllendePhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Isabel Allende. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Isabel Allende

Isabel Angélica Allende Llona (American Spanish: [isaˈβel aˈʝende]; born in Lima, Peru, 2 August 1942) is a Chilean writer. Allende, whose works sometimes contain aspects of the genre magical realism, is known for novels such as The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus, 1982) and City of the Beasts (La ciudad de las bestias, 2002), which have been commercially successful. Allende has been called "the world's most widely read Spanish-language author." In 2004, Allende was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2010, she received Chile's National Literature Prize. President Barack Obama awarded her the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Allende's novels are often based upon her personal experience and historical events and pay homage to the lives of women, while weaving together elements of myth and realism. She has lectured and toured many U.S. colleges to teach literature. Fluent in English, Allende was granted United States citizenship in 1993, having lived in California since 1989, first with her U.S. husband (from whom she is now divorced).

Everything I write has to be connected to my life. One of the things that always comes up in my writing is the search for freedom, especially in women.

--Isabel Allende

You couldn't find two people more different than my mother and I. There are a thousand things about me that she fought against.

--Isabel Allende

I think that any writer who is commercial, who sells a lot of books, has to face criticism. Because the more hermetic and the more difficult your book is, supposedly it's better.

--Isabel Allende

I remember my childhood as a horrible time. My mother says that nothing so horrible ever happened to me as the things that I remember.

--Isabel Allende

True friendship resists time, distance, and silence.

--Isabel Allende

A novel is like a window, open to an infinite landscape.

--Isabel Allende

We are too connected. There's noise in our heads all the time.

--Isabel Allende

Writing is a process, a journey into memory and the soul.

--Isabel Allende

I was a political refugee living in Venezuela. I had a job that was twelve hours a day, no money. It was a hard time.

--Isabel Allende

It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine.

--Isabel Allende

If I can write it, I can cope. And I've been writing many books, but in every book, I try to explore something in my own soul that I need to solve, I need to understand.

--Isabel Allende

I never thought that I would come to live in the United States. I was not pursuing the American dream.

--Isabel Allende

With women the best aphrodisiac is words.

--Isabel Allende

A public official must understand from his first day in office that any show of initiative will signal the end of his career because he isn't there to be meritorious but to reach his level of incompetence with dignity.

--Isabel Allende

Wishes and fears are illusions, Dil Bahadur, not realities. You must practice detachment.

--Isabel Allende

Do you truly believe that life is fair, Senor de la Vega?
-No, maestro, but I plan to do everything in my power to make it so.

--Isabel Allende

I have seen these persons speak unthinkingly, not realizing that to speak is also to be. Word and gesture are man's thought. We should not speak without reason.

--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

If I had to choose between a relative and a good story, I would take the story.

--Isabel Allende

He understood then that all his exploits as a reporter, the feats that had won him such recognition and fame, were merely an attempt to keep his most ancient fears at bay, a stratagem for taking refuge behind a lens to test whether reality was more tolerable from that perspective.

--Isabel Allende

His lifetime was less than a fraction of a second in infinity. Or maybe he did not even exist; maybe human beings, the planets, everything in Creation were a dream...an illusion. He smiled with humility when he remembered.

--Isabel Allende

All stories interest me, and some haunt me until I end up writing them.

--Isabel Allende

Longer Version:

All stories interest me, and some haunt me until I end up writing them. Certain themes keep coming up: justice, loyalty, violence, death, political and social issues, freedom.



The biggest straitjacket is all the prejudices that we carry around, and all the fears. But what if we just surrender to the fear? There are things greater than fear. The great, wonderful quality of human beings is that we can overcome even absolute terror, and we do.

--Isabel Allende

The source of my difficulties has always been the same: an inability to accept what to others seems natural, and an irresistible tendency to voice opinions no one wants to hear.

--Isabel Allende

The man of good heart maintained that a moral crisis is produced when the same affluent Catholics (religious people) who faithfully go to mass (church) deny their workers a dignified wage. These words should be engraved on the thousand-peso note, so we never forget them.

--Isabel Allende

She entered the place of her dreams along a much traveled path and returned treading very carefully in order not to shatter the tenuous visions against the harsh light of consciousness.

--Isabel Allende

Fiction happens in the womb. It doesn't get processed in the mind until you do the editing.

--Isabel Allende

We live in an era where masses of people come and go across a hostile planet, desolate and violent. Refugees, emigrants, exiles, deportees. We are a tragic contingent.

--Isabel Allende

I'm such a control freak. I want to control even my own death. Decide when I will die and how.

--Isabel Allende

It is common knowledge that no man that women flock to boasts of his conquests. Those who do, lie.

--Isabel Allende

Souls in pain know no borders.

--Isabel Allende

The most poor and backward areas in the world are those in which women are subjugated and exploited. Improving the situation of the woman improves the family, the community, and by extension the whole country.

--Isabel Allende

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

The one that came really easy was the Japanese lover, because he's like a ghost in the book. He's always in the background like a spirit, like a shadow, almost. There's a very delicate line there.

--Isabel Allende

Aphrodite is about lust and gluttony -- the only two sins worth committing, in my opinion.

--Isabel Allende

I've been so thoroughly incorporated into the California culture that I practice meditation and go to a therapist, even though I always set a trap: during my meditation I invent stories to keep from being bored, and in therapy I invent stories to keep from boring the psychologist.

--Isabel Allende

Some people connect with a story and may find between the lines something that might be useful to him or her, but that's not the intention of the author, I think. At least not mine.

--Isabel Allende

I am very grateful for the success, because it has given me the freedom to write without pressure, in my own way, and has enabled me to maintain my family and educate my children and grandchildren, as well as to create a Foundation to empower women and girls.

--Isabel Allende

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

She has a fixation on love. Strong trouble. The girl left her window open one clear night and it crawled into her body while she was asleep. There's no spell can cure it.

--Isabel Allende

A man does what he can; a woman does what a man cannot.

--Isabel Allende

Friendship is all about trust and sharing. Passionate and romantic love is all about sex and emotions. You have to try to combine those, I think. The great marriages, the great couples I know, have both.

--Isabel Allende

That was the beginning of the revolution. Many years have gone by and blood keeps running, soaking the soil of Haiti, but I am not there to weep.

--Isabel Allende

Life is very mysterious and there are many things we don't know. And there are elements of magic realism in every culture, everywhere. It's just accepting that we don't know everything and everything is possible.

--Isabel Allende

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

My books are based on emotions, feelings, relationships. In these areas women are experts, so it's not strange that the main characters of my novels are females.

--Isabel Allende

It's such an intimate and profound relationship that it cannot be unconditional. I can only compare the intimacy of sex with the intimacy of the mother with a newborn baby. But with a newborn baby, it is unconditional.

--Isabel Allende

He was not oppressed by a crowd because in the midst of all the hullabaloo he always found a quiet place for his soul.

--Isabel Allende

Only in romance novels or in thrillers people live outside of a social and political context.

--Isabel Allende

I was alone, without a single cent, in an unknown country. If I'd learned anything from last year's ill-fated adventures, though, it was not to get overwhelmed by minor inconveniences.

--Isabel Allende

Indiana was such a devout disciple of Shakti that she had once considered taking her name until her father, Blake Jackson, managed to convince her that a Hindu goddess's name was not appropriate for a tall, voluptuous blond American with the looks of an inflatable doll.

--Isabel Allende

Perhaps we are in this world to search for love, find it and lose it, again and again. With each love, we are born anew, and with each love that ends we collect a new wound. I am covered with proud scars.

--Isabel Allende

I have a very acute sense of place and time, so all of my stories are rooted in a place and a time.

--Isabel Allende

I can promise you that women working together -- linked, informed and educated -- can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet.

--Isabel Allende

The world starts to exist, for Americans, when we are in conflict with a place. And then all of a sudden, Afghanistan pops up on the TV screen and it becomes a place. And it exists for three weeks and then it disappears into thin air.

--Isabel Allende

I need to tell a story. It's an obsession. Each story is a seed inside of me that starts to grow and grow, like a tumor, and I have to deal with it sooner or later.

--Isabel Allende

I was born in the middle of World War II, the middle of the Holocaust; I was born when there was no declaration of human rights, when feminism was not an issue, when children were working in factories. I mean, today's world is a better place!

--Isabel Allende

It's going to go away because we all need silence. We all need time to reflect and think. I am not at all pessimistic about this.

--Isabel Allende

He had only to touch me to turn my tears into sighs and my anger to desire. How accomodating love is; it forgives everything.

--Isabel Allende

I seek truth and beauty in the transparency of an autumn leaf, in the perfect form of a seashell on the beach, in the curve of a woman's back, in the texture of an ancient tree trunk, but also in the elusive forms of reality.

--Isabel Allende

In my lifetime, the world has become better, not worse. And the world is moving, very slowly but surely with more democracy and more liberal way of thinking, more inclusion and more diversity.

--Isabel Allende

This was a matter of some small group of guerrillas in some distant caves, a primitive, fanatical, and desperate people who didn't have the resources to intimidate the United States.

--Isabel Allende

At the most difficult moments of my life, when it seemed that every door was closed to me, the taste of those apricots comes back to comfort me with the notion that abundance is always within reach, if only one knows how to find it.

--Isabel Allende

I've been a foreigner for the past twenty years. I don't have roots anymore. My roots are in my memory and my writing. That's why memory is so important. Who are you but what you can remember?

--Isabel Allende

When love exists, nothing else matters, not life's predicaments, not the fury of the years, not a physical winding down or scarcity of opportunity.

--Isabel Allende

You are my angel and my damnation; in your presence I reach divine ecstasy and in your absence I descent to hell.

--Isabel Allende

She regretted nothing she had shared with her lover, nor was she ashamed of the fires that had changed her life; just the opposite, she felt that they had tempered her, made her strong, given her pride in making decisions and paying the consequences for them.

--Isabel Allende

All summer, I read fiction because you must read for the pleasure and beauty of it, and not only for research. I don't read thrillers, romance or mystery, and I don't read self-help books because I don't believe in shortcuts and loopholes.

--Isabel Allende

My father left when I was three, and I have no memory of him. The most significant male figures in my life were my grandfather, in whose house I lived during the first 10 years of my childhood, and later my stepfather.

--Isabel Allende

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

Most people feel younger than their age, but the culture values youth, success, beauty, productivity. There is no space in this culture for older people.

--Isabel Allende

If I write something, I fear it will happen, and if I love too much, I fear I will lose that person; nevertheless, I cannot stop writing or loving.

--Isabel Allende

The pain of losing my child was a cleansing experience. I had to throw overboard all excess baggage and keep only what is essential.

--Isabel Allende

Longer Version:

The pain of losing my child was a cleansing experience. I had to throw overboard all excess baggage and keep only what is essential. Because of Paula, I don't cling to anything anymore. Now I like to give much more than to receive.


My books are written from personal experience, from memories, and from stories that come to me from all places.

--Isabel Allende

I don't want posterity, I don't want anybody to remember me in any way. I don't care about that because I'll be dead. I think the spirit will move to some other state.

--Isabel Allende

Real soup is to the body what peace is to the soul.

--Isabel Allende

I carry around a little stool to stand on when people want a picture with their cellular phones.

--Isabel Allende

Memory is fiction. We select the brightest and the darkest, ignoring what we are ashamed of, and so embroider the broad tapestry of our lives.

--Isabel Allende

I try desperately to conquer the transitory nature of my existence, to trap moments before they evenesce, to untangle the confusion of my past. Every instant disappears in a breath and immediately becomes the past; reality is ephemeral and changing, pure longing.

--Isabel Allende

In my private circle I am a mother, grandmother, wife, friend, daughter... the success means nothing to my small tribe.

--Isabel Allende

That was a good time in my life, in spite of having the sensation of floating on a cloud, surrounded by both lies and things left unspoken. Occasionally I thought I glimpsed the truth, but soon found myself once again lost in a forest of ambiguities.

--Isabel Allende

The longer I live, the more uninformed I feel. Only the young have an explanation for everything.

--Isabel Allende

I do not put myself in a box and say, for instance, I'm writing post-colonial literature. I don't know what I'm writing. That's the business of professors and critics. My job is to tell a story, and that's it.

--Isabel Allende

There is no light without shadow, just as there is no happiness without pain.

--Isabel Allende

My son, the Holy Church is on the right, but Jesus Christ was always on the left.

--Isabel Allende

I tried and tried to sleep, lulled by the movement, the purring of the motor, and the snores of the other passengers, but it's never been easy for me to sleep, and much less now, when I still have residues of the wild life running through my veins.

--Isabel Allende

A memoir is my version of events. My perspective. I choose what to tell and what to omit. I choose the adjectives to describe a situation, and in that sense, I'm creating a form of fiction.

--Isabel Allende

I would like to be with my husband together sitting somewhere in a lonely place in the woods and take something, maybe some pills or something, a magic potion and die together.

--Isabel Allende

Two thousand or more Spaniards sailing toward that long, narrow South American country that clung to the mountains so as not to topple into the sea.

--Isabel Allende

Catholics form a majority in Chile, although there are more and more Evangelicals and Pentacostals who irritate everyone because they have a direct understanding with God while everyone else must pass through the priestly bureaucracy.

--Isabel Allende

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