Paula

Paula

Paperback

By (author) Isabel Allende, Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden

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  • Publisher: HarperPerennial
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 201mm x 28mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 5 September 2005
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007205252
  • ISBN 13: 9780007205257
  • Sales rank: 42,316

Product description

In December 1991, Allende's daughter Paula, aged 26, fell gravely ill and sank into a coma. This book started as a letter to Paula written during the hours spent at her bedside, and became a personal memoir and a testament to the ties that bind families - a brave, enlightening, inspiring true story. This book was written during the interminable hours the novelist Isabel Allende spent in the corridors of a Madrid hospital, in her hotel room and beside her daughter Paula's bed during the summer and autumn of 1992. Faced with the loss of her child, Isabel Allende turned to storytelling, to sustain her own spirit and to convey to her daughter the will to wake up, to survive. The story she tells is that of her own life, her family history and the tragedy of her nation, Chile, in the years leading up to Pinochet's brutal military coup.

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Author information

Isabel Allende was born in 1942, and is the niece of Salvador Allende, who went on to become famous as the elected President of Chile deposed in a CIA-backed coup. She worked as a journalist, playwright and children's writer in Chile until 1974 and then in Venezuela until 1984. Her first novel for adults, 'The House of the Spirits', was published in Spanish in 1982, beginning life as a letter to her dying grandfather. It was an international sensation, and ever since all her books have been acclaimed and adored in numberless translations worldwide.

Review quote

'Allende's best work to date...she has everything it takes: the ear, the eye, the mind, the heart, the all-encompassing humanity.' New York Times 'Allende's writing is so vivid we smell the countryside, hear the sounds, see the bright birds, smell and even taste the soft fruit. Moving through Paula's last days, we enter that world, and share it, gladly, sadly, gratefully, and ultimately changed by the very reading of it.' Julia Neuberger, The Times 'This is a tender, moving and vivid record of a mother's agony at the bedside of her daughter. "Paula" begins as a long letter as a way of giving her back the life that is ebbing away...the result is a mesmerizing story. In flawlessly rich prose Allende shares with us her most intimate feelings...an emotionally charged, spellbinding memoir.' Washington Post 'Allende brings the natural storytelling power so evident in her novels to this courageous testament. She shares her personal tragedy with a warmth and passion that make "Paula" exceptional.' Sunday Express