The Millions

I Have Never Felt That I Have Roots: The Millions Interviews Isabel Allende

Largo pétalo de mar (A Long Petal of the Sea), the latest book by bestselling author Isabel Allende, is a historical novel that could very well be set in present time. The central theme is immigration—from those who fled Spain during Franco’s dictatorship and arrived in Chile, only to have to later flee Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship that began in 1973. It is about what people lose when we are forced to leave our homeland in order to survive, and how history repeats itself. It is a story of millions of people throughout history that is more relevant today than ever before.

, the metaphor that Chilean poet and diplomat once used to describe his country, begins in the late 1930s, when Spain was gripped by a civil war and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee in a treacherous, along with 2,200 other refugees, in search of a new life in Chile as the rest of Europe erupts in war.

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