Title MY INVENTED COUNTRY: A MEMOIR
Book Condition Very Good+
Publisher Harper Perennial 2004
0060545674 / 9780060545673
Seller ID RWARE0000017283
Allende was inspired to write this glimmering and audacious memoir of her l ife as a traveler, exile, and immigrant by an eerie overlaying of dates. Sh e lost a country, she writes, on Tuesday, September 11, 1973, when a milita ry coup brought down Chile's democratic government, then headed by Salvador Allende, a cousin of her father's. And she gained a country on Tuesday, Se ptember 11, 2001, when the terrorist attacks induced her to recognize her d eep allegiance to the U.S., her adopted land. Drawing on the profoundly flu ent storytelling skills and canniness that make her fiction so scintillatin g and her memoirs so powerful, Allende retraces her circuitous path from Sa ntiago circa 1940 to today's San Francisco, remembering her family and crit iquing her country with equal measures of nostalgia and pain, fury and humo r. She observes curtly that in her eccentric family "happiness was irreleva nt," but she saves her sharpest remarks for her dissection of the Chilean s ensibility, zestfully analyzing Chile's obsession with class, all-out machi smo, habitual hypocrisy, intolerance, conservatism, clannishness, and gloom iness. She claims that Chileans love bureaucracy, "states of emergency," fu nerals, and soap operas, and that, in the Chile of her youth, "intellectual scorn for women was absolute." Allende's conjuring of her "invented," or i maginatively remembered, country is riveting in its frankness and compassio n, and her account of why and how she became a writer is profoundly moving.