99 pages 3 hours read

Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1982

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The House of the Spirits

  • Genre: Fiction; historical family saga
  • Originally Published: 1982
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 1280L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 14 chapters and epilogue; approx. 496 pages; approx. 18 hours, 51 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: This epic family saga follows patriarch Esteban Trueba, wife Clara, daughter Blanca, and granddaughter Alba through several decades of unrest in their country (widely assumed to be Chile). Character conflicts involve the quest for political power, forbidden love, and revolution.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Violence; sexual content; rape

Isabel Allende, Author

  • Bio: Born to Chilean parents in Peru in 1942; author of more than 25 critically acclaimed works; feminist, human rights advocate, and philanthropist; popular TED Talks presenter; began The House of the Spirits (her first published novel) as a letter to her ailing grandfather; awarded 15 honorary doctorates as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2014)
  • Other Works: Paula (1994); Island Beneath the Sea (2009); The Japanese Lover (2015); A Long Petal of the Sea (2019)
  • Awards: Best Novel of the Year (Chile, 1983); Author of the Year and Book of the Year (Germany, 1984;) Best Novel (Mexico, 1985)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Politics and Ideology as Content and Context
  • Patterns, Cycles, and the Interconnectedness of Life
  • Storytelling and the Power of Narrative