Isabel Allende talks with Democracy Now! about her latest release, The Wind Knows My Name.

July 22, 2023

Isabel Allende talked with Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman for an in-depth interview about her work, focusing her latest novel, The Wind Knows My Name, which looks at the trauma of child-family separation, from Nazi Germany to the U.S.-Mexico border, and those on the frontlines helping migrant children.

“That idea of separating the kids is extremely cruel, but it keeps happening,” Isabel explained. “The miracle of literature” is being able to instill compassion in readers who may otherwise see the stories of refugees as abstract numbers. “It brings people close. By telling the story of one child, you can somehow connect with the reader and create that sense of empathy that is so often lacking.”

The Wind Knows My Name tells the story of two child immigrants – a boy who escapes Nazi occupied Vienna in 1938 and a girl who escapes military gangs in El Salvador in 2019, following their migrations to the United States and the day when the immigrant from Vienna and the refugee from El Salvador finally meet. In their recent review, People magazine praised Isabel’s latest as “an ambitious, intricate novel about war and immigration.”

Check out the full People magazine review, as well as recent praise for The Wind Knows My Name in The New York Times, and NPR. Here’s also another interview with Isabel, this one with CBS’s Rita Braver, in which Isabel talks more about The Wind Knows My Name as well as that tumultuous family history that inspired her stories’ passionate and courageous characters.

Follow Isabel – who remains one of the most widely read authors in the world – on Instagram and Facebook. Find an except from The Wind Knows My Name on Isabel’s website.

Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende —novelist, feminist, and philanthropist—is one of the most widely-read authors in the world, having sold more than 77 million books. Chilean born in Peru, 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 seven bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including Daughter of Fortune, Island Beneath the Sea, Paula, The Japanese Lover, A Long Petal of the Sea, The Soul of a Woman, Violeta, and most recently, The Wind Knows My Name. 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, Isabel 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 thousands of women and girls. More than 8 million have watched her TED Talks on leading a passionate life. 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.

Five Things I've Learned About

Writing Fiction

Join Isabel Allende, one of the most widely read and acclaimed authors in the world, and discover the Five Things She’s Learned about writing fiction, discovering your voice, and writing the work you were born to create.

Presented in partnership with Book Passage

Isabel Allende

Five Things I've Learned About

Writing Fiction

Join Isabel Allende, one of the most widely read and acclaimed authors in the world, and discover the Five Things She’s Learned about writing fiction, discovering your voice, and writing the work you were born to create.

Presented in partnership with Book Passage

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