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Who's in the Video
Isabel Allende is a Chilean-American author who has published 18 books, including works of fiction, non-fiction, and memoir. She is one of the best-known female writers in Latin America, and[…]

Isabel Allende has seen her American grandchildren grow up to embrace technology and rugged individuality.

Question: How has being a grandmother influenced your rnstorytelling?

Isabel Allende: I wrote a trilogy of books for my rngrandchildren when they were in their early teens, or in puberty.  And rnnow, unfortunately, I am suffering the empty nest syndrome because one rnof them is in college, the other is getting ready to go to college, and rnthe three of them are emotionally detached.  They don't like me rnanymore—and I hate them, that’s the truth.  So, I’m so sorry that they rnare growing up.  So sorry.  But it influences my writing because they rnteach me all the time.  I learn about what’s happening in the world rntoday, or how the world has changed, you know?  I’m not up-to-date with rnany of the technology that they were born knowing.
What differences do you notice between yourself and your rnAmerican grandkids?

Isabel Allende: There are rndifferences.  One of them is that I come from a place where family is rnvery important.  We live in communities in extended families and we keeprn in touch.  I call my mother... if I don’t write, I call every day.  Andrn so, we are always in each other's faces, which is maybe not good, but rnat the same time, very connected.  And that connection doesn’t end rnbecause the kid goes to school.  And here, the idea is that you are a rnself-made person and you are an individual—that's much more important rnthan community.  And I see them... that my grandchildren can’t wait to rnget out of this Latin family.

Recorded on May 3, 2010
rnInterviewed by Priya George