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The Wind Knows My Name: A Novel Spiral-Bound | June 6, 2023

Isabel Allende, Frances Riddle (Translated by)

★★★★☆+ from 1,001 to 10,000 ratings

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This powerful and moving novel from the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Petal of the Sea and Violeta weaves together past and present, tracing the ripple effects of war and immigration on one child in Europe in 1938 and another in the United States in 2019.

Vienna, 1938. Samuel Adler is five years old when his father disappears during Kristallnacht—the night their family loses everything. As her child’s safety seems ever-harder to guarantee, Samuel’s mother secures a spot for him on a Kindertransport train out of Nazi-occupied Austria to England. He boards alone, carrying nothing but a change of clothes and his violin.

Arizona, 2019. Eight decades later, Anita Diaz and her mother board another train, fleeing looming danger in El Salvador and seeking refuge in the United States. But their arrival coincides with the new family separation policy, and seven-year-old Anita finds herself alone at a camp in Nogales. She escapes her tenuous reality through her trips to Azabahar, a magical world of the imagination. Meanwhile, Selena Duran, a young social worker, enlists the help of a successful lawyer in hopes of tracking down Anita’s mother.

Intertwining past and present, The Wind Knows My Name tells the tale of these two unforgettable characters, both in search of family and home. It is both a testament to the sacrifices that parents make, and a love letter to the children who survive the most unfathomable dangers—and never stop dreaming.

Story Locale:Central America, Europe, and the United States
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Original Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 0593598105
Item Weight: 1.1 lbs
Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 1,001 to 10,000 ratings
“Allende’s artistry shapes a lyrical romanticism around social political history and global turmoil . . . [Her dialogue is] current, relevant and real. Our civic discourse is centered by a multitude of voices talking about two things—immigration and identity—who belongs and who doesn't, and how to care for the dispossessed. In Allende’s version healing is possible, because empathy is a hopeful, albeit inconsistent, follower of migration.”—NPR

“The lives of a Jewish boy escaping Nazi-occupied Europe and a mother and daughter fleeing 21st-century El Salvador intersect in this ambitious, intricate novel about war and immigration. A historical saga that is deeply connected to our present day.”—People
“This beloved author transports us to two dark periods in history: Nazi-overrun Vienna in 1938 and the current dire situation at the border between the United States and Mexico. . . . Both stories are rich enough to carry the weight of one novel, but Allende expertly intertwines them. Employing her signature touch of magical realism, she wraps us in a compassionate story that reminds us ‘we could all just as easily find ourselves in similar situations.’”The Washington Post

“[Allende is] the queen of magic realism.”—BBC

“It feels something like a modern version of The Secret Garden: lost, grieving people finding joy and hope with each other, with a touch of magic. Beautiful and moving . . . draws parallels between humanitarian crises in different times and places in a way that feels deeply personal.”Book Riot

The Wind Knows My Name is a treat for fans of Kristin Hannah, Christina Baker Kline, and Julia Alvarez, all authors who understand that history always affects current events.”Virtuoso, The Magazine

“Allende is always a must read and readers will queue for her latest mix of history, suspense, emotional insight, social commentary, mysticism, wit, and tenderness.”Booklist

“Powerful . . . Allende finds real depth in her characters, especially when portraying their sacrifices. This authentic and emotionally harrowing work is a triumphant return to form.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of a number of bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including Violeta, A Long Petal of the Sea, The House of the Spirits, Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, and Paula. Her books have been translated into more than forty-two languages and have sold more than seventy-seven million copies worldwide. She lives in California.

Author Residence: San Francisco

Author Hometown: Born in Peru and raised in Chile