Author Isabel Allende is 71. Yes, she has a few wrinkles—but she has incredible perspective too. In this candid talk, meant for viewers of all ages, she talks about her fears as she gets older and shares how she plans to keep on living passionately.
- TED speaker
Isabel Allende—novelist, feminist, and philanthropist—is one of the most
widely-read authors in the world, having sold more than 74 million books. Born in
Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel won worldwide acclaim in 1982 with the publication
of her first novel, The House of the Spirits, which began as a letter to her dying
grandfather. Since then, she has authored more than twenty three bestselling and
critically acclaimed books, including Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, Daughter of Fortune, Island Beneath the Sea, Paula, The Japanese Lover and In the Midst of Winter. Translated into more than forty two languages. Allende’s works entertain and educate readers by interweaving imaginative stories with significant historical events.
In addition to her work as a writer, Allende devotes much of her time to human
rights causes. In 1996, following the death of her daughter Paula, she established
a charitable foundation in her honor, which has awarded grants to more than 100
nonprofits worldwide, delivering life-changing care to hundreds of thousands of
women and girls. More than 8 million have watched her TED Talks on leading a
She has received fifteen honorary doctorates, including one from Harvard University,
was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, received the PEN Center Lifetime
Achievement Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded Allende the Presidential Medal of
Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and in 2018 she received the Medal
for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book
Foundation. She lives in California. Her website is IsabelAllende.com.