The Stories of Eva Luna
Told in the voice of Isabel Allende’s beloved character Eva Luna, a “distinctive, powerful, and haunting” (Los Angeles Times) collection of short fiction by one of the most iconic and acclaimed writers of our time.
Eva Luna is a young woman whose powers as a storyteller bring her friendship and love. Lying in bed with her European lover, refugee and journalist Rolf Carlé, Eva answers his request for a story “you have never told anyone before” with these twenty-three samples of her vibrant artistry. Interweaving the real and the magical, she explores love, vengeance, compassion, and the strengths of women, creating a world that is at once poignantly familiar and intriguingly new.
Rendered in her sumptuously imagined, uniquely magical style, The Stories of Eva Luna is the cornerstone of Allende’s work. This treasure trove of brilliantly crafted stories is a superb example of a writer working at the height of her powers.
The eponymous heroine of Eva Luna returns as the narrator of 23 tales, sumptuous marriages of Chilean writer Allende's earthy characters and her celestial version of magical realism. Although other figures from that novel also reappear (for example, Eva Luna spins her stories at the request of her lover Rolf Carle), this collection is in no sense a sequel: indeed, each piece here can stand alone. Allende's people are warm-blooded, original, memorable. A simple lyricism evokes European emigres to South America; social climbers; outlaws; schoolteachers; Indians; a nearly indefatigable imagination explores the critical moments in these figures' lives. Many of the stories build on the intricate attachments of unlikely lovers, such as a dictator and the foreign woman he abducts or a criminal and a judge's wife. Allende's inventiveness justifies her own comparisons of her literary creation to Scheherazade, and throughout all these short works whispers the mysticism of Eva Luna herself--her well-placed faith in a world of spirits and in the immortality of human love.