Allende discusses women, creativity, the definition of feminism, passion and Sophia Loren (she walks elegantly, like a giraffe on the African savannah) in this TED talk, which was recorded three years ago.
Of Basque, Spanish, and Portuguese descent, Isabel Allende was born in Peru of Chilean parents. She now lives in the USA.
According to Alexandra Alter in an article in The Wall Street Journal, Allende, as a young woman in Chile, translated English romance novels to Spanish. But she lost the job for making unauthorized changes to the dialogue of the heroines, in an attempt to make them seem more intelligent. She also twisted the endings of the novels to allow the heroines more independence.