My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile


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Somehow I got an overall feeling of only a superficial familiarity with Chile of today, or as a specific place, but under or through that was an impression of very deep familiarity with Chilean culture and history - and this impression felt like it matched perfectly with her self-description as having been gone from Chile for so long, and for so much of her childhood before her eventual exile, that she had created a country out of her own reading and unreliable memories.

In the end, I wished I'd read this before I arrived in Santiago, and I expect I'll read it again mostly for the thoughts about travel and where 'home' is once you've ever moved to somewhere new. May 22, Jim rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , chile. Invented Country, yes. But Nostalgic Journey Through Chile? Not really. My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile is more than anything else an autobiography of a life fragmented by years of exile due to the violence of the Pinochet regime. In addition, the probably murdered left-leaning ex-president, Salvador Allende Gossens, was a favorite relative of hers.

Isabel Allende 's Chile is primarily in her heart. Her first book, House of the Spirits , was written while she was living in Invented Country, yes. Her first book, House of the Spirits , was written while she was living in Venezuela, about which she writes: If someone had asked what it was about, I would have said that it was an attempt to recapture my lost country, to reunite my scattered family, to revive the dead and preserve their memories, which were beginning to be blown away in the whirlwind of exile.

Curiously, this is a very exact description also of My Invented Country. I had hoped to read some background about Chile for a projected trip later this year. Reading it, I found ou a whole lot about the author, but only a few scattered tidbits about the country as a whole.

My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile

Jan 14, Cynda rated it it was amazing Shelves: biography-or-memior , ethnic-writers , women , read , political , history , hispanic. Isabel Allende has written a memior of herself, her family, her first society, and her country of birth, Chile. Ms Allende mostly loves in San Francisco with her beloved, however imperfect, husband. As usual, Allende spells things out.


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In part, she speaks of the political dramas post WWII, of her country of birth. Speaking of how President General Pincochet was elected, she says: "It is a fact that information was censored and brainwashing was the goal of a vigorous propaganda machine; it is al Isabel Allende has written a memior of herself, her family, her first society, and her country of birth, Chile. Speaking of how President General Pincochet was elected, she says: "It is a fact that information was censored and brainwashing was the goal of a vigorous propaganda machine; it is also true that the opposition lost many years and a lot of blood before it got organized.

Sounds a lot like how Mr Trump will soon be Mr President. I hope the opposition will organize these 4 years so that we can have a real president elected next time. This memior provides political lessons, insights, cultural expansion, worldview expansion, in fewer than pages, I suggest this book to all who are interested in South American history or culture. Nov 07, Leila rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction.

I found the generalizations made by Allende rather offputting for much of this book, even as I appreciated her stories from her childhood in Chile. The last few chapters which filled in much of her adult life won me over, however. I relate to the way she admits to shaping her own story and that of her native country in ways that suit her design. We all do it, but how many are comfortable with admitting it? A wonderful book to read on my Chilean adventure. Apr 06, Alex Kudera rated it really liked it. I enjoyed this, and it includes many memorable quotations, a few of which I added to my blog.

I liked it enough that I immediately checked out of the library a few books she notes in this one, including an earlier memoir, Paula. Sep 20, Beril Sayir rated it it was amazing.


  • MY INVENTED COUNTRY by Isabel Allende , Margaret Sayers Peden | Kirkus Reviews.
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  • Allende uses a perfect blend of sorrowful and humorous tones in describing Chile. On almost every page I found a funny description that made me really laugh! This is a great memoir that I suggest to everyone; wherever she's been, you feel as if you're in her shoes. Shelves: reviews , women-writing , chilean , contemporary , non-fiction. Well, not everything, but a lot has changed since the 60s. There are a few things that basically remain the same. Some of her comments about Chilean character and society hold true. And I find it very interesting how she reflects on how being Chilean has defined her character in one way or another.

    She links it with what she seems to think of as an inferiority complex on our part. She analyzes all that and tries to reconcile it with her own identity. That is also interesting, because Allende also makes a point of showing how different she is from Chilean society. She has a critical outcome on our society, and calls out hypocrisy and how fake are some standards. I was brought up in a small town, born after the dictatorship and so on. That makes for a completely different Chile for both of us. What I got was gently nostalgic reminiscences of her childhood and adolescence, sprinkled with witty and sharp observations of not only Chile, but also Allende's adopted countries since the s, primarily Venezuela and the USA, and the contrasts between them.

    I knew little, also, of Chile other than the name of Pinochet so was fascinated to learn insignificant details of d I wasn't sure what to expect from My Invented Country as I'm pretty sure I've not yet read any of Isabel Allende's novels. I knew little, also, of Chile other than the name of Pinochet so was fascinated to learn insignificant details of daily life and the national culture, pre-Pinochet.

    Allende's love for the natural landscape comes across continually thoughout her memoir and she makes it sound like a fabulous country to tour. Could we get our caravan across the Atacama Desert do you think? Allende's starting points for many of her reminiscences are members of her eccentric extended family, all of whom she admits are perfect fodder for a writer!

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    I was irritated by abrupt stops where she would indicate that a tale had already been included in a novel so she 'wouldn't repeat it here'. Now I have to go and buy some of the novels too! I am very tempted by her first, House Of Spirits, now though, especially as I learned how it came about. Allende's criticisms of present-day Chile, its rampant commercialism and ostentatious shows of personal wealth were disappointing to read as perhaps now it is just becoming like everywhere else. This sentence: 'Freedom consists of having many brand names to choose from when you go out to buy on credit' was striking and made me wonder if I have missed Chile as an individual country, perhaps it is more prevalent in Santiago.

    The divisions post-dictatorship are also saddening to read and I was interested by Allende's reasons for now living in the USA, a country which did so much to damage her beloved Chile.

    Ting object | My invented country : A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile | eReolen

    Overall, My Invented Country is a diverting memoir, quite light overall and with a such meandering pace that sometimes I wondered where we were going to end up. However it has sparked an interest for me to discover both more of Allende's writing and more about Chile itself. Feb 10, Angus Mcfarlane rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , history , reviewed , contemporary , latin. Nostalgia is something that I don't particularly like getting caught up in, especially someone else's since what we each treasure from our pasts is so personal. But whether I tell my nostalgia or not, they still exist and may become more prominent as I grow older.

    Isabella Allende has plenty of reason to to feel nostalgia for chile, having grown up either side of the coup and amidst some of the characters involved. She left after the coup, exiled, with all the more reason to reflect on what she Nostalgia is something that I don't particularly like getting caught up in, especially someone else's since what we each treasure from our pasts is so personal.

    She left after the coup, exiled, with all the more reason to reflect on what she had left behind. No doubt the forced departure also creates a greater drive to remember selectively, but the greatest distortion comes from her desire to entertain, and to exaggerate her compatriots characteristics so we don't forget them. Not that this is necessarily beyond belief. Bureaucracy and paternalism, for example, have descriptions which ring true, in feel if not in substance, to my experience of Chile.

    However, I'm not sure how comfortable many Chilean residents would feel about the descriptions given to them, possibly disputing some of the claims made I imagine. Shelves: autobiography-memoir , latin-america. It starts off rather awkwardly with a catalogue of facts, about Chile, its geography and history. She mentions in this book that she dreams and writes in Spanish, and for me this was an illumination that explains much about her style. Thinking and writing in Spanish gives her access to memories and images that would be constructed differently in English.

    I wonder who translates her work into English? Her strong opinions have driven her from her teens throughout her adult life, especially the rights of women and 'ordinary people' , mostly the poor and dispossessed. They drove her as a refugee from Chile after the coup, first to Venezuela and then to the US. Her outrage at the events of the coup and the repression and brutality that followed leap off the page. She has a knack of writing about incidents in and periods of her personal life that are often imbued with emotion, but never cloying or embarrassing to read, unlike some other memoir I have read recently.

    And of course much of her early family history and eccentric family life has found its way into her novels. It's not a great prose work, but a book I enjoyed and will remember reading for a long time. Aug 08, Asya rated it really liked it Shelves: memoir.

    My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile
    My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile
    My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile
    My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile
    My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile
    My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile
    My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile
    My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile

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