My fate changed on January 8, l981. That day we received a phone call in Caracas that my grandfather was dying. I could not go back to Chile to bid him farewell, so that evening I started a sort of spiritual letter for that beloved old man. I assumed that he would not live to read it, but that didn’t stop me. I wrote the first sentence in trance: Barrabas came to us by sea. Who was Barrabas, why did he come by sea? I didn’t have the foggiest idea, but I continued writing like a maniac until dawn, when exhaustion defeated me and I crawled to my bed.
– What were you doing? my husband mumbled.
– Magic, I answered.
And indeed, magic it was. The following evening after dinner, again I locked myself in the kitchen to write. I wrote every night, oblivious to the fact that my grandfather had died. The text grew like a gigantic organism with many tentacles and by the end of the year I had 500 pages on the kitchen counter. It didn’t look like a letter anymore. My first novel, THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS had been born. I had found the only thing that I really wanted to do: write stories.
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