90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Isabel Allende On Her New Novel: ‘Maya’s Notebook’

Bestselling author Isabel Allende’s novel of a Chilean grandmother saving a granddaughter who’s down and out in Las Vegas.

Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende (Lori Barra)

Chilean-American novelist Isabel Allende has been writing big, global bestsellers for years.  Historical novels with a rich thread of magical realism.  ”The House of Spirits.”  ”Daughter of Fortune.”  ”Ines of My Soul.”  ”Zorro.”

Her latest novel comes right up to a date.  Drugs crime, porn, Las Vegas – and an immigrant grandmother trying to save her American granddaughter from losing her self, her soul.  Sending her back to the old country to try to save her.  There are echoes of the Tsarnaev brothers here.  But a better ending.

This hour, On Point:  Isabel Allende and her latest, “Maya’s Notebook.”

- Tom Ashbrook

Plus: a closing segment on folk musician Richie Havens.

Guest

Isabel Allende, bestselling Chilean author. Her new book is “Maya’s Notebook: A Novel.” (@isabelallende)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Seattle Times “The bleached hair, nose ring and shoulder tattoo on the young woman on the cover of ‘Maya’s Notebook’ are sure signs we’re not in the historical-novel territory of Isabel Allende’s ‘Daughter of Fortune’ or ‘Inés of My Soul.’ But the thoroughly contemporary heroine of Allende’s latest is every bit as fierce, fragile and fascinating as the corset-wearing women the author has conjured up so well.”

The Telegraph “My grandfather was a great storyteller; he would spook us out with his horror stories about seeing the devil and that kind of stuff. When I was living in exile in Venezuela I got a telephone call to say that my grandfather was dying in Chile. I couldn’t go back to see him, so I wrote him a letter. I wanted to tell him that he could go in peace because I remembered everything he told me – all the anecdotes, all the stories, all his life. And to prove it, I started writing the story. I started writing on January 8 1981, and it turned into my first novel, The House of the Spirits, although I didn’t know it at the time.”

The New York TimesWhat is your favorite literary genre? Any guilty pleasures? I like literary fiction. A good novel or short story is like making love between clean ironed sheets: total pleasure. When I was a teenager my guilty reading was, of course, erotic stuff. At 14, living in Lebanon, I discovered the irresistible mixture of eroticism and fantasy reading “One Thousand and One Nights” inside a closet with a flashlight. Nothing can be compared to the excitement of a forbidden book. Today nothing is forbidden to me, so there is no guilt. Too bad! (My grandchildren would have fits of boredom with the erotic scenes that turned me on in Lebanon.)”

Excerpt: ‘Maya’s Notebook’ by Isabel Allende

Playlist

Abre Tu Ventana — Victor Jara

Gracia a La Vida — Violeta Parra

Freedom — Richie Havens

Here Comes the Sun — Richie Havens

Listen to these songs and more on our Ultimate On Point Playlist.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • eileenab

    I love Isabel Allende’s writing and think she is one of the finest writers. I would like to tell her thank you.  She is one of my favorite authors.

  • Trudie

    I had never been introduced to her before this..and now I have to read her works…I love her fiestiness..and her common sense..and her beauty!! Thank you!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gustavodlp Gustavo De La Piedra

    Hey I’m a Chilean in Chile and I always listen to NPR. Warm greetings to Tom Ashbrook and Isabel Allende!

  • Fabiana Buchanan

    I have read all Isabel Allende’s books and love her writing. I’m so looking forward to this new book!

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 17, 2014
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men burn leavened items in final preparation for the Passover holiday in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish town of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, April 14, 2014. Jews are forbidden to eat leavened foodstuffs during the Passover holiday that celebrates the biblical story of the Israelites' escape from slavery and exodus from Egypt. (AP)

In the week of Passover and anti-Semitic gunfire, we look at the history of the Jews with acclaimed historian Simon Schama. Plus, Pope Francis and the Catholic Church today.

 
Apr 17, 2014
Students cheer and wave as President Barack Obama, not pictured, exits the podium after speaking at the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, beginning his two day bus tour speaking about college financial aid.  (AP)

The inside dope on college financial aid. The way it really works, who gets what, and how.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment
 
How Boston Is Getting Ready For the 2014 Boston Marathon
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

Boston Globe metro reporter Maria Cramer explains how the 2014 Boston Marathon will be different than races in the past.

More »
Comment
 
WBUR’s David Boeri: ‘There’s Still Much We Don’t Know’
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

WBUR’s senior reporter David Boeri details the ongoing investigation into the alleged Boston Marathon Bombing perpetrators.

More »
Comment