Archive for the ‘Magical Realism’ Category

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A roman à clef is a French term for a “novel with a key,” a novel that is purportedly about fictional events and fictional people, but that is readily decipherable to those in the know – with the key, as it were – showing them inside information into real people and events. Isabel Allende, in her first book, does this, delving into the history of her home nation of Chile, ending with the atrocities of the Pinochet regime that ruled there from 1974 until 1990. She does so through the lens of two fictional families: the del Valles and the Truebas. It is a true epic, following the matriarchal line through three generations of women, living during the turbulent Twentieth Century as Chile developed from a poor post-colonial country, into a modern state under the harsh control of a military junta. Click through for my full review.
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