Who doesn’t want to talk about love and death…well, maybe more the love part, but still! In her new book, Isabel Allende explores these two topics.
The Japanese Lover takes place in a retirement home where the residents — from the World War II era — are very much alive and continue to experience life through love and memories. Most importantly, Allende uses her main characters, Alma and a Japanese gardener to dive into the topic of conditional love and death, two of life’s inescapable experiences.
Allende, who recently ended her marriage of 27 years at the age of 70, injects her own thoughts on conditional love into the story:
“In my long life, in my experience, you can love your friends unconditionally. Your parents. Your children. Your pets, of course. I love my dog unconditionally, but never the man I’m sleeping with. I want something back. It’s such an intimate and profound relationship that it cannot be unconditional. I can only compare the intimacy of sex with the intimacy of the mother with a newborn baby. But with a newborn baby, it is unconditional. It’s not the same when you are in a sexual relationship unless you feel that you are loved as you love.”
Find out how Isabel Allende’s story came to life and more about her thoughts on love and death here.
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Jurado Ertll has been writing novels and children’s books for well over a
decade, all with the mission to inspire his fellow Central Americans about the possibilities that abound
for them in the U.S., and in the fields of public service and politics.
The author of multiple books and novels, including children’s illustrated book, “The Adventures of El Cipitio,” Randy Jurado Ertll has used literature as a means to help others stay woke.
“It’s important for us to be seen and heard through books that are bilingual. My goal is to make my literature accepted and to be recognized and valued because we haven’t been valued as a whole, a community,” Jurado Ertll says in an exclusive interview with mitú.
Born in Los Angeles to a Salvadoran mother in the 1970s, Jurado Ertll is a product of what can be accomplished with absolute grit and determination, despite being part of a group that has been on the margins of society—the children of deported immigrants.
When he was just eight months old, his mother was deported back to El Salvador and Jurado Ertll went to live with her until the age of five.
“People think it only happens under Trump, but it’s been happening forever but people forget,” Jurado Ertll says about deportations.
After his mom’s deportation, he tried making the most of living in a foreign land and soaked up as much as he could about the culture.
“That helped me and gave me an opportunity to learn first—hand the history and culture [of El Salvador]. It shaped my world view,” Jurado Ertll says.
Once he returned home for elementary school, he had to completely relearn the English language and says it was “kind of like a rebirth experience.”
He grew up in South Central Los Angeles during a time when there were few Latinos in his neighborhood. He was a student of the Los Angeles Unified School District until he was accepted into a program to study at a high school in Minnesota.
After high school, he returned to California to study at Occidental College and obtained his master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University. He then went on to be a communications director in Washington, D.C. for a congressional member and also wrote numerous opinion columns for newspapers across the country including the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.
Jurado Ertll published his first book in 2009.
His titles include “Hope in Times of Darkness” about his experience as a Salvadoran American, and a novel with surreal elements about a three-foot mythical creature titled “The Lives and Times of El Cipitio.”
“The Lives and Times of El Cipitio” is a surreal novel, I wanted to use lots of symbolism,” Jurado Ertll says. “I wanted to create an anti-hero that is evil but becomes good, a gangster that runs for mayor of LA then president, and the novel talks about how he evolves.”
When demand for his books increased, Jurado Ertll knew it was time to start bilingual books to inspire readers.
He then created “The Adventures of El Cipitio.”
“The Adventures of El Cipitio” is more of a feel-good, illustrated book.
“Kids need to feel good and proud, and see themselves in words and illustrations they can see themselves in,” he says.
Although Jurado Ertll has written several books to put the stories of more Central Americans like him to diversify bookshelves and tell the stories of all types of Latinos, one story he hasn’t quite written about in depth is his own deportation story.
“[The] story hasn’t been explored or told as much because it’s traumatizing—it distorts your sense of safety and belonging, and you can make it positive or negative,” Jurado Ertll says.
“It made me into a resilient person. There are other kids who have suffered more than I have. I wanted to empower people. If you born here, you can come back [after being deported.] Lots of people do that, but their stories are not told,” he continues.
Jurado Ertll has certainly chosen to take his experiences and make it a positive one.
Jurtado Ertll’s books are sold in Costco and Amazon, and he also continues to present his books at book fairs and events across the country.
It’s been two years since fans of Chilean writer, Isabel Allende had a chance to flip through the pages of a new book. Of course, reading favorites like House of the Spirits never gets old, but to finally get our hands on a new book by the beloved author is such a delight!
Allende announced the debut of her new book Long Petal of the Sea.
According to the description of the book, Allende’s latest publication is “a journey through the history of the twentieth century by the hand of unforgettable characters who will discover that in a single life many lives fit and that, sometimes, the difficult thing is not to flee but to return.”
The book is supposed to take place during the Spanish Civil War when a young doctor Víctor Dalma is forced to leave Barcelona with his pianist friend Roser Bruguera.
The two friends go into exile and cross the Pyrenees towards France. “On board the Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda that took more than two thousand Spaniards to Valparaiso, they will embark in search of peace and freedom that they did not have in their country,” according to Penguin Random House. “Received as heroes in Chile – that ‘long petal of sea and snow,’ in the words of the Chilean poet – will be integrated into the country’s social life for several decades until the coup d’état that overthrew Dr. Salvador Allende, Victor’s friend. his common love of chess. Víctor and Roser will find themselves uprooted again, but as the author says: “If you live long enough, all the circles are closed”.
Isabel Allende’s Trueba family is bringing magic realism to the screen once again. That’s right, mi gente! The family’s multi-generational story first brought to readers in 1982 with the famed Chilean writer’s literary classic “House of Spirits,” is being put on the small screen thanks to Hulu.
The award-winning book is being adopted for the screen with Allende set to executive produce.
According to Deadline, the streaming site, also behind the Golden Globe-winning television adapted series The Handmaid’s Tale, is only in the early stages of the TV series adaptation. Still, it has been confirmed that as development rolls into production, Allende will serve as the show’s executive producer. The show will be based off of the book that follows the story of the Trueba family, which endures tragedy, triumph and magic realism across three generations.
It’s not the first time a production company has tried to adapt Allende’s world-renowned book.
CREDIT: “House of Spirits” / Miramax Films
In 1993, Miramax Films adjusted the film for the screen while also committing major offenses to the book’s story, which mostly involved brownface. The film featured a non-Latino cast that included Meryl Streep and Winona Ryder as the Latina clairvoyant Clara del Valle Trueba and her daughter Blanca Trueba, respectively. The film was generally considered to be a flop. At the time, famed literary critic Roger Ebert gave the movie a 2 out of 4 star rating, writing, “What odd thinking must have gone into the casting of the movie: Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, and Glenn Close form a checklist of the last actors you’d think of while reading the famous novel by Isabel Allende, widow of the slain Chilean leader.”
While the word is still out on what Hulu intends to do in terms of hiring for its cast and crew, we’ve got our fingers crossed that they’ll tap Latina directors and writers and make good on the original book by putting Latinos on the screen.