Isabel Allende is a best-selling Chilean-American writer who was born in Lima, where her father, Tomás Allende, was Chile's ambassador to Peru. Her uncle was Chilean President Salvador Allende, who was assassinated in 1973 during a military coup. Believing it was unsafe to remain in Chile, Isabel, her husband and two children fled to Venezuela. While in exile, she wrote her first novel, "The House of the Spirits," which was made into a film in 1994. Isabel Allende's works weave elements of magical-realism into her stories of women and their struggles. Since then, Allende has written many novels and other works, such as plays and children's stories. Her most recent novel is "The Island Beneath the Sea" (HarperCollins).
Allende received the 2010 Library of Congress National Book Festival Creative Achievement Award.