.Writer-in-Residence: Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende’s novels are a gift of literature for us all. When my wife, Jane, who is a huge fan, informed me that Allende lives right here in Marin, well, how could I resist trying to get her to answer my questions?

What do you do?

I make a living as a fiction writer.

Where do you live?

In 1988, I married a guy who lived in San Rafael, and we remained married for 28 years. After a lifetime of being displaced, I have found my home in Marin, in my “house of the spirits” by the water.

How long have you lived in Marin?

36 years.

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?

Having coffee at Rulli in Larkspur, dinner at Salt & Pepper in Tiburon or walking the dogs in Piper Park.

If you had to convince someone how awesome Marin is, where would you take them?

To Samuel P. Taylor Park. Fairfax. Stinson Beach. Take the ferry in Tiburon or Sausalito. The top of Mount Tam to see that view. Sushi Ran for the best Japanese food.

What’s one thing Marin is missing?

Diversity and young people.

What’s one bit of advice you’d share with your fellow Marinites?

Please be very polite to the immigrants who do most of the services.

If you could invite anyone to a special dinner, who would they be?

My daughter Paula, Michelle and Barack Obama, Oprah, Mark Twain, Dolly Parton and a few others.

What is some advice you wish you knew 20 years ago?

There’s enough time; no need to live in a hurry.

What is something that in 20 years from now will seem cringeworthy?

I will be dead by then.

Big question. What is one thing you’d do to change the world?

End the patriarchy.

Keep up with Allende at isabelallende.com and isabelallende.org or @allendeisabel on Instagram.

Nish Nadaraja was on the founding team at Yelp, serves on the San Anselmo Arts Commission and attempts to play pickleball at Fairfax’s Cañon Club.


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