Gringa in Chile

English-speakers won’t get to read it until next year, but Isabel Allende’s latest book, El Cuaderno de Maya, or Maya’s Notebook, was launched last month in Santiago, and this blogger has a signed copy next to her computer.  Maya is a troubled American teenager who seeks refuge from crime and drugs on Chiloe, the largest island in Chile’s southern archipelago.  An excerpt:

“Chiloe has its own voice. Before I never used to take off my headphones, the music was my oxygen, but now I stay alert in order to understand the Chilotes’ convoluted Spanish. Juanito Corrales left my iPod in the same pocket of my backpack where he took it out and we have never mentioned the matter, but the week when he delayed returning it to me I noticed I didn’t miss it as much as I believed I would. Without the iPod I can hear the island’s voice: birds, wind, rain, the crackle of wood, wagon wheels and at times the remote violins of the Caleuche, the ghostly boat that navigates in the mist and is recognized by the music and bone rattle of shipwreck victims who come aboard singing and dancing.”

The author’s bilingual web site:


One comment on “Gringa in Chile

  1. LisaPie says:

    I adore Isabel Allende. I have every single one of her books. Mostly in Spanish. Thanks for the heads up!

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