Allende's very popular novels have attracted both critical approval and opprobrium, often at the expense of genuine analysis. This sophisticated study explores the narrative architecture of Allende's House of the Spirits (1982), Daughter of Fortune (1999), and Portrait in Sepia (2000) as a trilogy, proposing that the places created in these novels subvert the patriarchal norms that have governed politics, sexuality, and ethnicity. Rooted in the Foucauldian premise that the history of space is essentially the history of power, and supported by Susan Stanford Friedman's cultural geographies of encounter as well as Gloria Anzaldúa's study of borderlands, this study shows that, by rejecting traditional spatial hierarchies, Allende's trilogy systematically deterritorializes the elite while shifting the previously marginalized to the physical and thematic centers of her works. This movement provides the narrative energy which draws the reader into Allende's universe, and sustains the 'good story' for which she has been universally acclaimed. KAREN WOOLEY MARTIN is Associate Professor of Spanish at Union University, Jackson, Tennessee.
Isabel Allende's House of the Spirits Trilogy
Subjects: Language & Literature