Life Inspiring Art: Isabel Allende
They want a connection with a man the way Paula was connected to her husband. .. who is based on my husband, Willie Gordon, I got to know him much better than if I had lived with him for . Q. What advice can you give to aspiring writers?. Isabel Allende's new novel, The Japanese Lover, deals with love, loss, and when I was over 70 and my marriage was failing,” Allende says, referring to her recent separation from her second husband, Willie Gordon. . Much of the fan mail she receives is from young women seeking advice in love, and. For the past six decades, Isabel Allende and her mother, Francisca, have lawyer Willie Gordon; and the loss of her beloved daughter, Paula, to porphyria at As she completed the book, she says: “I was ending a marriage that had me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
We see each other frequently and we are good friends, and it's much better living in separate places. There are no happy endings in life. Life and books are a journey and you keep walking. There are very happy elements but nothing is forever. I have open endings or ambiguous endings, because nothing lasts. It's fine to have a happy ending in a romance novel, but in life, that's unrealistic.
It centres on Alma, who emigrates to Poland to live with relatives as a young child, meeting Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of her adopted family's Japanese gardener.
As a tender love affair begins to blossom, the two are pulled apart after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when Ichimei and his family — like thousands of other Japanese Americans — are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government.
Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again in a secret passion that endures for 70 years. The Japanese Lover was inspired by a story her friend told her one day about her mother's Japanese gardener who worked for her for 40 years. I said, "They must have been lovers! And she said, "Oh no, no! She told me that you are on a writing retreat, which of course coincides with 8th of January — the date you start your new books.
Would you share what came to life on this 8th of January? Well, I was finishing another book. I had to rewrite the whole thing. So I just finished that. It is going to be published in Spanish in June and in English — by the end of the year. My Bulgarian publisher is really wonderful. Isabel and her second husband Willie, with whom she separated in You separated from your second husband Willie with whom you have been married for quite some time, in In an interview you said that this time of separation was a time for you to explore love: What did you learn about love?
Well, the first thing I learned is, that nothing is for sure, everything changes in time. When I met Willie many years ago I fell madly in love with him immediately and I think that I remained in love with him for many many years. During that time my daughter died, two of his children died, he got sick. So a lot of tragedy happened to us, he got very depressed and eventually, the relationship changed.
What I also learned is that you have to work on the relationship all the time and both people have to work together. And we, I think, tried for a while and then he stopped trying and so eventually we separated. I thought I would be very happy alone and for a while, I could. I moved to a very small house, very contained space, with my dog and started a new life — new friends, new neighbourhood.
The only thing that stayed the same was my family and my office, the people in my office. But the rest — everything changed. And I think that I did pretty well and that I will never fall in love again. However, last year, a man in New York heard me talking on the radio. He was driving to Boston and he pulled over to hear the program. He was so impressed that he emailed my office. And we started emailing every single day for five or six months. We finally met in October and we fell in love and we have a very profound relationship.
Of course, he is in New York and I am in California, but the plan is to get together and I never thought that this could happen to me again. But you see, even at 74 you can find love. What I have found out, what I have learned is, that there is no age for passion or for love. You can be a teenager, you can be fifty years old or you can be eighty.
That is fantastic news, very reassuring. There is hope always. And I realised that I am much happier when I am in love.
I thought I could be really happy alone and I can. But this is much better — to share my life with someone. What is your perspective on loss in life and on letting go? I learned that the hard way. Inwhen I turned 50 years old, my daughter Paula fell into a coma and eventually a year later she died. And during that long year, I took care of her, and day by day I had to let go of everything.
I thought I could control the situation, I thought I could make her better, I thought I could make her comfortable. But there was very little that I could do.
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I had to let go all forms of control and surrender to the fact that she was going to die. And when she died I had to let go of the last things about her and just keep the spirit and the memories. When you spend too many hours—as many, many hours a day as I do—alone and in silence, you are able to see that world. I imagine that people who pray or mediate for long hours, or who spend time alone in a convent or another quiet place, end up hearing voices and seeing visions because solitude and silence create the basis for that awareness.
Months or years later, I discover that it was true. And I'm always so scared when that happens. What if things happen because I write them? I have to be very careful with my words. You don't have that power. Don't be so arrogant. What happens is that you are able to see them and other people are not because they don't have the time, because they are busy in the noise of the world.
And although she did not write, she could guess things and tap into those unknown events and feelings. Your stepfather called you a mythomaniac. He says that I am liar. When I was writing Paula it was the first time that I wrote a memoir. In a memoir one is expected to tell the truth. My stepfather and my mother objected to every page because from my perspective the world of my childhood—of my life—is totally different from the way they see it. I see highlights, emotions, and an invisible web—threads that somehow link these things.
It is another form of truth. Joyce Carol Oates talks about a luminous memory, as though it comes in and glows on a certain spot. I'm thinking of differences in how you remember events from your childhood. For example, you have a frightening memory of being hung upside down in a contraption intended to encourage your growth, though your stepfather remembers it as being a perfectly safe device.
Perhaps you are just remembering what you felt. While you may in fact have been in a safe device, you felt as though you were being strung up by the neck. For example, I will remember a story but can't remember a place or a date or a person or a name. But I remember something striking about the story. Whereas some people will remember the date or what they were wearing.
Or they remember just the facts. I will perhaps only remember what I fantasized about the event—my own version of the truth.Isabel Allende entrevistada por Manuel Luís Goucha
But in the end, as in Eva Luna, first you say one thing and then you say— A. I have fifty versions of how I met Willie, my husband. He says they are all true. In your earlier novels, which address the political chaos of Latin America, the government is untrustworthy, inconsistent.
There is a Kafkaesque feeling that no matter what you do, you won't understand the government. The world is shifting, undependable. Do you see the spirit world as being a more dependable place? Is it in the spirit world that the infinite plan makes sense and in the real world that it doesn't? The spiritual world is a place where there is no good and evil. There are no rigid rules of any kind. In that sense it is totally different from the infinite plan—which is a joke—proposed by the preacher in my novel The Infinite Plan.
In the spiritual world there is only intention, there is just being. And there is no sense of right or wrong. Everything just is in a sort of very steady and still way. You don't have to decide anything. Things just are, and you somehow float or—I don't know how to express this exactly—you are just there.
In a very, very delicate form. This sounds very corny but my life has been determined by two things that have been extremely important: There are many forms of love, but the kind I am talking about is unconditional.
For instance, the way we love a tree. We don't expect the tree to move or to do anything or to be beautiful. You love an animal that way. We love children that way. As relationships become more complicated, you start demanding more. You want something in exchange for your love. You have expectations and desires and you want to be loved as much as you love.
In this spiritual world, which is a world of love, there are no conditions. Like the way I love my grandchildren. I think they are perfect.
It doesn't matter whether they grow or stay the way they are because I can see them as the infants they were when they were just born, the people they will be when they are adolescents or adults.
The soul has no age.
When we love something deeply and completely, we love the essence. I think transcendence is what you are talking about, the ability to move above and beyond this real world to a transcendent understanding of feelings and emotions.
Would you say your novels are defined by that characteristic more than any other? They say that if Kafka had been born in Mexico he would have been a realistic writer. So much depends on where you were born.
A new life. A new love. A new chapter. Isabel Allende - gtfd.info
Irene and Francisco in Of Love and Shadows have to be completely remade at the end of the novel. They get in the car and look at each other, each wondering who the other is. With my novel Of Love and Shadows I was accused of being sentimental and too political. But I have sympathy for that book. First of all, because the story is true. The main story concerns a political crime committed in Chile, which I researched. The characters are true. And also because it brought Willie into my life.
Willie read that book, he fell in love with it, and eventually he fell in love with me. And, finally, because it brought to my life the awareness of how powerful the written word can be: You once said that you came from such a repressed background you have a hard time writing erotic scenes. No, I think it has to do with the book. Every book has a way of being written.
Every story has a way of being told. The story determines the tone in which we should tell things. Francisco and Irene are two very young people who lust for each other in the beginning and then they fall in love. By the time they have sex, they are really in love. They also have been touched for the first time in their lives with the brutality of death, torture, repression, and violence.
Making love brings them back from hell to life, to the paradise of love. Later, they will be destroyed by events. Orpheus goes down to hell to bring his lover back to life. At a lecture you mentioned you were not going to write any more short stories. Are you adamant about not returning to that genre? I should never say I'm never going to do something. Short stories come to you whole. The short story requires inspiration.
All of a sudden, you have a flash of lucidity that lets you see an event from another angle that is totally unexpected. And you can't provoke that. It happens to you. You go to a place, you see some people dancing, and all of a sudden you understand the relationships between those people, or you seem to perceive something that is there that nobody else in the room can see.
And then you have a short story. Talk about The Stories of Eva Luna. They were written in the voice of Eva Luna, the protagonist of my previous novel. All except for the last one, which is the story of how Rolf Carle finds a little girl in the mud and helps her to die.
It was written from his point of view. That story really happened, in in Colombia.
Life Inspiring Art: Isabel Allende
There was an eruption of a volcano called Nevado Ruiz, and a mudslide covered a village completely. Thousands of people died. They never recovered most of the bodies, and finally they declared the whole place a cemetery, a sacred land. Among the many victims was a little girl, nine years old, called Omaira Sanchez. This girl, who had very short dark curly hair and huge black eyes, agonized for four days, trapped in the mud. The authorities could not fly in a pump to pump out the water and save her life.
However, the media could bring television cameras in helicopters, planes, buses. All over the world, for four days, the audience could see the agony of this child. You write in Spanish but live in English in the U. I'm struck by your ability to take something the majority of the world sees as a disadvantage and make it an advantage. Most people would see living in a second language as being marginalized.
Who wants to be in the mainstream? The other day I heard something wonderful on TV about the problems this country is going to face in the next ten years—crime, violence, the lack of values, the destruction of the family, teenage pregnancy, drugs, AIDS. Someone then said something extraordinary. Because they come to this country with the same ideas and the same strength that our great-grandparents came with. I don't find that difficult at all. Esteban Trueba narrates parts of the book. With The Infinite Plan it was easy because I had my husband to guide me.
Then I realized that there are more similarities than differences when it comes to gender.
William C. Gordon - FAQ
Essentially, human beings are very similar, but we are stuck in the differences instead of highlighting the similarities. When I got into the skin of the male protagonist, who is based on my husband, Willie Gordon, I got to know him much better than if I had lived with him for thirty years.
That seems like a good place for us to turn back to the world of the spirits, to the place we started.