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Chilean author Isabel Allende wins Barcino International Historical Novel Award

Allende: "There are outbreaks of unrest everywhere – we are entering a period of fundamental changes"


05 November 2019 05:44 PM



Highly-acclaimed Chilean author Isabel Allende (Lima, 1942) received the Barcelona city council's Barcino International Historical Novel Award on Monday for her lifelong contributions to the genre.

The award is given as part of the annual Barcelona Historical Novel literary festival, which this year takes place from November 4 to 9 with free talks and workshops throughout the city.

During her visit to the Catalan capital, Allende did not shy away from speaking of the "outbreaks of unrest" that have surfaced around the world – from France to Hong Kong and Ecuador and "Barcelona as well" – as a sign of younger generations bringing about "fundamental changes" that she said she hopes to be alive to see.

Allende referred to the Chilean protests in particular as stemming from "the inequality" of a "neoliberal system" introduced by former dictator Augusto Pinochet and only "adjusted slightly" by subsequent governments.

The writer also spoke of her latest novel, A long petal of the sea, about a Catalan couple that moves to Chile after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and who were part of the Republican diaspora, a "wave of marvelous, well-received people who contributed so much to culture and science that it is impossible to quantify."


  • Chilean writer Isabel Allende in Barcelona on November 4, 2019 (by Pau Cortina)

  • Chilean writer Isabel Allende in Barcelona on November 4, 2019 (by Pau Cortina)