Isabel Allende is headed to the White House…
The 72-year-old Chilean writer is among the 19 people chosen by President Barack Obama today to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Allende, best known for her novels La casa de los espíritus and La ciudad de las bestias, has written 21 books that have sold 65 million copies in 35 languages.
She’s been recognized with numerous awards internationally, including the prestigious National Literary Award in Chile, her country of origin.
Allende’s novels are often based upon her personal experience and pay homage to the lives of women, while weaving together elements of myth and realism.
Allende, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was granted American citizenship in 1993, having lived in California with her American husband since 1989.
But Allende isn’t the only Hispanic person to receive the honor this year…
The late Edward Roybal will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.
He was the first Mexican-American to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from California in nearly a century. In 1976, he founded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, creating a national forum for Latino issues and opening doors for a new generation of Latino leaders.
Other honorees this year include Meryl Streep, Tom Brokaw, Stephen Sondheim, Marlo Thomas, Stevie Wonder and choreographer Alvin Ailey.
The awards will be bestowed at the White House on November 24.