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Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses Summary
Isabel Allende

Everything you need to understand or teach Aphrodite by Isabel Allende.

  • Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses Summary & Study Guide
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Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses Summary


In the opening sentence of her 1998 book, Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses, Chilean author Isabel Allende declares: "I repent of my diets, the delicious dishes rejected out of vanity, as much as I lament the opportunities for making love that I let go by." In the height and rigor of physical self-awareness of the late 1990s in America, Allende's literary celebration of sex and food found ample response: her naughty recipe/pillow book ended up on the New York Times bestseller list.

Allende's seventh book follows the author's tradition of semi-autobiographical literature; it is a memoir of return to life, written after her 1997 novel Paula about the painful loss of her daughter. In the introduction, Allende states that her re-awakening to sensual pleasures marked her exit from the three-year period of sadness. The critics, calling Aphrodite an unusually "light" work for an author of customarily weightier literature, still...

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