Allende to Receive DCAL Medal at NBAs

The National Book Foundation will award Isabel Allende with its 2018 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the National Book Awards on November 14. The Chilean-American author, "whose 1982 debut novel The House of the Spirits propelled her into the literary limelight and the public consciousness, is being honored for her expansive body of work—made up of nearly two dozen works of fiction, memoir, and essay—and her role as a critical figure of Latin-American literature, as well as a wildly successful writer of titles in translation in the U.S., Allende’s adopted country," the NBF said in a statement.

Written in her native Spanish, Allende’s work has been translated into 35 languages and has sold nearly 70 million copies worldwide. She is the recipient of awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was awarded to her by Barack Obama in 2014. The DCAL will be presented to Allende by Mexican-American writer Luís Alberto Urrea, whose book The Devil’s Highway was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Allende will be the first Spanish-language author to the recognized with the DCAL medal, and only the second, since Saul Bellow in 1990, to be born outside the United States.

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