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Displacement in Isabel Allende’s Fiction, 1982–2000


Mel Boland

This book explores the concept of displacement in the fiction produced by the Chilean writer Isabel Allende between 1982 and 2000. Displacement, understood in the author’s analysis to encompass social, geographical, linguistic and cultural phenomena, is argued to play a consistently central role in Allende’s fictional output of this period. Close readings of Allende’s texts illustrate the abiding importance of displacement and reconcile two apparently contradictory trends in her writing: as the settings of her fiction have become more international, questions of individual identity have gained in importance. This discussion employs displacement as a means of engaging with critical debates both on Allende’s individual texts and on her status as an original writer. After examining in detail the seven works of fiction written by Allende during this period, the book concludes with reflections on the general trajectory of her work in this genre.


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Acknowledgements vii Preface 1 Chapter 1 An Introduction to Displacement in Isabel Allende’s Fiction 3 Chapter 2 Local Development and Displacement: Esteban Trueba’s Experiences in Las Tres Marías in La casa de los espíritus 35 Chapter 3 Appearance, Disappearance and Displacement: A Carnivalesque Reading of De amor y de sombra 71 Chapter 4 Displacing Language: Secondary Orality and Silence in Eva Luna and Cuentos de Eva Luna 103 Chapter 5 Cultural Displacement in El plan infinito, Hija de la fortuna and Retrato en sepia 133 Conclusion 185 Bibliography 191 Index 201

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