Add Isabel Allende‘s groundbreaking first novel, “The House of the Spirits,” to the golden age of television adaptations.
Streaming giant Hulu has acquired the classic 1982 story, which has been translated into more than 35 languages. Allende began it at a low moment in her life when she was 40 years old and living in Venezuela.
This consummate Chilean story follows the Trueba family over four generations and catapulted its author to fame. Deeply personal, “The House of the Spirits” began as Allende’s farewell letter to her 100-year-old grandfather and incorporates elements of magical realism. In the 35 years since its publication, Allende has written more than 20 books, sold more than 70 million copies and become an international touchstone.
Hulu is now seeking a writer and director to helm the project. Allende, who won the Anisfield-Wolf lifetime achievement prize last year, will serve as executive producer. She lives outside San Francisco.
“My purpose in life seems to be storytelling and nothing else,” she said at the awards ceremony in Cleveland. “Through me, some characters come to life and do what they are meant to do in this world, even if I don’t know what it is.”
The Emmy-award winning “A Handmaid’s Tale,” based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel, is one of Hulu’s most watched and critically acclaimed shows. It is also adapting Celeste Ng’s Shaker Heights-based novel, “Little Fires Everywhere.”
“The House of the Spirits” begins with this sentence: “Barrabás came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy.” Now he will be coming to screens everywhere.