Being a refugee should not be seen as something that limits you. It should be seen as a testament to what you have endured to get to where you are today.

Our ‘Influential Refugees’ series aims to demonstrate not only the range of people who can find themselves in need of asylum, but also the great things that people of a refugee background can go on to achieve in their lives.


Influential Refugees: Isabel Allende


Isabel Allende is a famous Chilean-American writer, perhaps best-known for her novels ‘The House of the Spirits’ and ‘City of the Beasts’.



Allende was forced to flee Chile after a military coup overthrew her ‘uncle’, president Salvador Allende in 1973.  After receiving death-threats of her own, she moved with her husband and children to Venezuela, and began working there as a journalist.


Called ‘the world’s most widely read Spanish-language author’, she has sold 65m copies of her books in 25 languages. Allende’s work has led to her being awarded numerous awards throughout her career, including Chile’s National Literature Prize in 2010, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2014.



Look out for more posts in our ‘Influential Refugees’ series coming soon!