BOOKS: GRIEF AND REBIRTH

LATIN AMERICA'S FOREMOST WOMAN WRITER CHRONICLES THE DEATH OF A DAUGHTER-- AND HER OWN AWAKENING

ISABEL ALLENDE, the distinguished Chilean writer, was celebrating the publication of one of her novels at a Barcelona party in December 1991, when she got word that her daughter was in a hospital in Madrid. She flew to her side. "I love you too, Mama," the 27-year-old Paula murmured just before she was seized by convulsions and fell into a coma. She never woke up, and a year later she died in Allende's arms. "I had a choice," the author recalls. "Was I going to commit suicide? Sue the hospital? Or was I going to write a book that would heal...

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