[VIRTUAL] PEN Out Loud: Isabel Allende with Concepción de León

Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Isabel Allende joins PEN Out Loud to celebrate her book, The Soul of a Woman. Examining “power, feminism, and what it means to be a woman,” Allende’s forthcoming book weaves together her vast experiences, from coming up in the second wave of feminism to embracing her sexuality. Following a reading by PEN/Bingham Prize finalist Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Allende will be joined in conversation with The New York Times reporter Concepción de León to discuss feminism of the past and hopes to inspire the next generation, and to consider the question: “What feeds the soul of feminists—and all women—today?”

This digital event will start at 8pm ET / 5pm PT.

Presented in collaboration with Strand Book Store and Scripps Presents.

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ASL interpretive services are provided by ProBono ASL.

Isabel Allende headshotIsabel Allende won worldwide acclaim in 1982 with the publication of her first novel, The House of the Spirits. Since then, she has authored 25 bestselling and critically acclaimed books, which have been translated into more than 42 languages. In addition to her work as a writer, Allende devotes much of her time to human rights causes. In 1996, following the death of her daughter, Paula Frias, she established a charitable foundation in her honor, which has awarded grants to more than 100 nonprofits worldwide on behalf of women and girls. In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded Allende the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and in 2018 she received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. She has also received PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Raised in Chile, she now lives in California.

Concepción De Leon headshotConcepción de León is a breaking news reporter for The New York Times. She previously worked for three years in the newspaper’s Books department, covering literary news and culture. Prior to that, she was an editor at Glamour magazine.

Kali Fajardo-Anstine headshotKali Fajardo-Anstine is the author of Sabrina & Corina (One World, 2019), finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Bingham Prize, The Story Prize, the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and winner of an American Book Award and Reading the West Book Award. Fajardo-Anstine is the 2019 recipient of the Denver Mayor’s Global Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture.

Her writing has appeared in print and online at Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, O, the Oprah Magazine, The American Scholar, Boston Review, Bellevue Literary Review, The Idaho Review, Southwestern American Literature, and elsewhere. Fajardo-Anstine has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, Tin House, and Hedgebrook. She holds an MFA from the University of Wyoming and is from Denver, CO. Her work has been translated into multiple languages. Photo credit: Graham Morrison

About Strand Book Store

Located on 12th and Broadway in New York City, the Strand Book Store is a family-owned, iconic literary destination with more than 90 years of history and 18 miles of books to prove it. Its events feature some of today’s most interesting and provocative authors. Its unparalleled inventory of 2.5 million new, used, and rare books and locally designed totes, gifts, and apparel makes it easy and exciting to get lost in the stacks.

About Scripps Presents

Scripps Presents is an electrifying mix of storytellers and artists, policymakers and musicians—and everything in between. Based at Scripps College, Scripps Presents provides a forum the Claremont Colleges and audiences across Southern California to engage with eye-opening, mind-bending, genre-defying tête-à-têtes with the thinkers and doers, writers and performers, whose passions and perspectives are changing the way we see the world.


This program is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

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The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Austin Public Library Foundation, Magic City Poetry Festival, Miami Book Fair, and Magic City Books are regional partners of PEN Out Loud’s Winter 2021 season.

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