Teacher Guide

The House of the Spirits Lesson Plan

Introduction to The House of the Spirits

On January 8, 1981, Isabel Allende sat down to write a letter to her grandfather, who was dying in Chile. This letter became the basis for The House of the Spirits. Ever since then, Allende starts a new work of writing on January 8th each year.

Allende was the goddaughter of Salvatore Allende, who was the first socialist president of Chile. He was also her father’s cousin. Her life changed significantly when General Pinochet led a coup against Salvatore’s government that resulted in Salvatore’s death in 1973. Decades of controversy surrounded Salvatore’s death, which was ruled a suicide in 2011. Allende, like Alba from the story, became involved in helping people escape and cope with...

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