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Isabel Allende is often called the world’s most widely-read Spanish language author. She’s written more than 20 novels, many of them bestsellers.

When Allende’s father abandoned the family when she was just a toddler, her mother had no choice but to move the family back to her parents.

In this segment, Allende speaks about how her grandparents influenced her life and her writing.

Photo collage of Isabel Allende’s grandparents, courtesy of Isabel Allende. 

Correction: The broadcast and audio version of this story state Isabel Allende was born in Chile. Isabel Allende was born in Lima, Peru. 

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