Word of a new Isabel Allende novel is always cause for celebration, so last week I was delighted to learn about Maya's Notebook, "the story of a 19-year old girl who falls into a life of drugs and crime, and takes refuge on a remote island off the coast of southern Chile."

According to Publishers Marketplace, this novel will come out in October 2012 and is set in contemporary Berkeley and Chile. (Allende lives in the Bay Area now, although she is most associated with Chile, where many of her books take place.)

Allende is best known for her memoirs, historical fiction and magical realism, so this novel sounds like a departure—if only because of its contemporary setting. You can bet I'll be snagging the review copy when it comes to our office (a year from now . . . boo-hoo).

What's your favorite of Allende's books? She has been quite prolific since The House of the Spirits came out in 1982 . . . are you still excited by her work?

Also in BookPage: I gushed about a new Allende novel back in December of 2009 on this blog, then reviewed the novel (Island Beneath the Sea) for BookPage a few months later. Also, read an interview with Allende about My Invented Country, her memoir of Chile.

Author photo: Lori Barra © 2009

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