Isabel Allende on the End of Childhood

Did you once believe in Santa Claus? When you were a child were fairies and dragons and ghosts real? There is something special about the world of young children and their ability to simply believe. In the following excerpt from The House of Spirits, Chilean author Isabel Allende takes us into that magical time.

Clara’s childhood came to an end and she entered her youth within the walls of her house in a world of terrifying stories and calm silences. It was a world in which time was not marked by calendars and watches and objects had a life of their own, in which apparitions sat at the table and conversed with human beings, the past and the future formed part of a single unit, and the reality of the present was a kaleidoscope of jumbled mirrors where everything and anything could happen. It is a delight to me to read her notebooks from those years, which describe a magic world that no longer exists. Clara lived in a universe of her own invention where the prosaic truth of material objects mingled with the tumultuous reality of dreams and the laws of physics and logic did not always apply. Clara spent this time wrapped in her fantasies, accompanied by the spirits of the air, and the water, and the earth.

Winner for the National Prize for Literature,  Isabel Allende has written over 20 novels focusing on family, women, children, and social justice. A journalist, television personality, lecturer, and feminist, Allende is considered one of the major Spanish language authors. Her Isabel Allende Foundation provides support and advocacy for women and girls.

In her TED lecture Allende addresses issues of justice and women, creativity and passion. Take a moment to listen to her, Then think…What are you passionate about? What stories can you tell to share that passion?

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