Paula: A Memoir(front cover image of the item may vary)
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When Isabel Allende's daughter, Paula, became gravely ill and fell into a coma, the author began to write the story of her family for her unconscious child. In the telling, bizarre ancestors appear before our eyes; we hear both delightful and bitter childhood memories, amazing anecdotes of youthful years, and the most intimate secrets passed along in whispers. With Paula, Allende has written a powerful autobiography whose straightforward acceptance of the magical and spiritual worlds will remind readers of her first book, The House of the Spirits.
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carries in her veins secret songs that mark the rhythm of her steps as she walks; during the contractions, she panted and rocked back and forth as if listening to an irresistible, internal Venezuelan drumbeat. Toward the end, I thought that occasionally she made fists of her hands and a flash of terror passed through her eyes, but immediately her husband made her look straight at him, and whispered something in the private code of husband and wife, and her tension eased. That was how time went
night, that it’s impossible, she can’t move, and I’m just having nightmares like so many dreams that seem more true than reality. But who knows . . . maybe there are other means of spiritual communication besides dreams, and, incapacitated though she is, Paula has found a way to talk to me. My senses have been sharpened so that I perceive the invisible, but I am not mad. Dr. Shima comes by often, and he tells me that Paula has become his guide. The three months have passed, and the psychics,
things this man who has suffered knows how to give—but your image, Paula, submerged in your mortal sleep, comes between us, and our kisses turn to ice. “Paula cannot make love with her husband for a long time, maybe never again. Ernesto isn’t even thirty yet, and his wife could be an invalid for the rest of her days. How can there be such injustice? Why did it happen to her and not me—I’ve already lived and loved so well.” “Don’t think about that, there are many ways to love,” Willie tells me.
such a project, a wave of irrational hope mobilized many, many people in the society who had been waiting for the emergence of a New Man, a more generous, compassionate, and just individual motivated by high ideals. At the very instant Allende’s triumph was proclaimed, his adversaries began to sabotage it, and the wheel of fortune took a tragic turn. The night of the election I did not go out in the street to celebrate with Allende’s supporters, not wanting to offend my in-laws and my
column in the darkest corner of the room. That night Ernesto stayed in the clinic, and I went home with Willie. I had not been there for months and I felt as if I were a stranger, as if I had never crossed that threshold before or seen that furniture or any of the things I had bought with such excitement. Everything was impeccable, and my husband had cut his best roses to fill the flower vases. I looked at our bed with the white batiste canopy and large embroidered pillows, the paintings I had