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Week 8: A Critical Relationship? One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits


Novels: One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits


General Readings on Allende:

Isabel Allende, Isabel Allende, 2009. [The author’s own website with biographical details, news on forthcoming work, images, trivia etc]

Karen Castellucci Cox, Isabel Allende: A Critical Companion (Westport and London, 2003). Chpts 1-3.

Linda Gould Levine, Isabel Allende (New York, 2002).

Donald Leslie Shaw, The Post-Boom in Spanish American Fiction (Albany, 1998). Chapter 3.


Themes to be considered and further reading: similarities and differences between the two novels, style, theme, content, critical approaches to reading Allende, post-Boom novels


1. Interpreting Allende: A ‘pale imitation’ of García Márquez? 

Isabel Allende, interview with Margorie (1984) in John Rodden (ed.), Conversations with Isabel Allende (Texas, 2004), pp. 45-52.

Robert Antoni, ‘Paradox or Piracy: The Relationship of The House of the Spirits to One Hundred Years of Solitude’, Latin American Literary Review, 16 (1988), pp. 16-28. Accessible through “Works - Essays” portal at

Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza (ed.), The Fragrance of Guava: Conversations with Gabriel García Márquez (London and Boston, 1983), pp. 105-117.

Beth E. Jorgensen, ‘ “Un punado de críticos”: Navigating the Critical Readings of Isabel Allende’s Work’ in Rosemary G. Feal and Yvette E. Miller (eds), Isabel Allende Today (Pittsburgh, 2002), pp. 128-46.


2. Interpreting La casa de los espíritus in its own right: 

Susuan Bassnett, ‘Coming out of the Labyrinth: Women Writers in Contemporary Latin America’ in John King (ed.), Modern Latin American Fiction: A Survey (London, 1987), pp. 247-67.

Caroline Bennet, ‘The Other and the Other-Worldly: The Function of Magic in Isabel Allende’s La casa de los espíritus’ in Harold Bloom (ed.), Isabel Allende (Philadelphia, 2003), pp. 171-82.

Elizabeth Gough, ‘Vision and Division: Voyeurism in the Works of Isabel Allende’, Journal of Modern Literature, 27:4 (2004), pp. 93-120. Available online via MUSE

Patricia Hart, ‘ “Magic Books” and the Magic of Books’ in Harold Bloom (ed.), Isabel Allende (Philadelphia, 2003), pp. 5-21.

Lesley Mackay, ‘Fascinating Classics: The House of the Spirits (review)’, Imagine, 4:3 (1997), pp. 20-21. Available online via MUSE

Lois Parkinson Zamora, ‘The Magical Tables of Isabel Allende and Remedios Varo’, Comparative Literature, 44:2 (1992), pp. 113-43. Available online via JSTOR

Sonia Riquelme Rojas and Edna Aguirre Rehbein (eds), Critical Approaches to Isabel Allende’s Novels (New York, 1991).


3. Trends and Divergences in Post-Boom Novels 

Stephen Hart, A Companion to Spanish-American Literature (London, 1999). Chapter 7.

Naomi Lindstrom, Twentieth Century Spanish American Fiction (Austin, 1994). Chapter 6.

Donald Leslie Shaw, The Post-Boom in Spanish American Fiction (Albany, 1998). Chapter 1.

Philip Swanson, ‘The Post-Boom Novel’ in Efraín Kristal (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Latin American Novel (Cambridge, 2005), pp. 81-101

Philip Swanson, ‘Conclusion: After the Boom’ in Philip Swanson (ed.), Landmarks in Modern Latin American Fiction (London and New York, 1990), pp. 222-245.


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