August 2, 1942
I'm living in California but I have a place that is mine in Chile and I belong there. I am no longer an exile.
In times of conflict, war, poverty or religious fundamentalism, women and children are the first and most numerous victims. Women need all their courage today.
I rebelled against all form of authority, against my grandfather, my step-father, the Church, the police, the government, the bosses. Everything male that was there, and was determining my life.
I have travelled all over the world and one thing that amazes me is that I can communicate with people. My story may be different but emotionally we are all the same.
If I can write it, I can cope. And I've been writing many books, but in every book, I try to explore something in my own soul that I need to solve, I need to understand.
On a Tuesday, September 11th, 1973, we had the military coup in Chile that forced me to leave my country eventually. And then, on a Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, we had the terrorist attack in the United States.
Every life of a character is within a context. If I write detached from a social and political background, my story looks like a soap opera where everybody is indoors, not working and living off their emotions.
I get thousands of letters, and they give me a feeling of how each book is perceived. Often I think I have written about a certain theme, but by reading the letters or reviews, I realise that everybody sees the book differently.
I have not changed; I am still the same girl I was fifty years ago and the same young woman I was in the seventies. I still lust for life, I am still ferociously independent, I still crave justice, and I fall madly in love easily.
The pain of losing my child was a cleansing experience. I had to throw overboard all excess baggage and keep only what is essential. Because of Paula, I don't cling to anything anymore. Now I like to give much more than to receive.
There's basically an element of fiction in everything you remember. Imagination and memory are almost the same brain processes. When I write fiction, I know that I'm using a bunch of lies that I've made up to create some form of truth. When I write a memoir, I'm using true elements to create something that will always be somehow fictionalized.