Eduardo Galeano, born September 3, 1940, in Montevideo, Uruguay, has had a long and active career as a journalist, historian, and political activist. At the age of 13, he began publishing cartoons for the Uruguayan socialist newspaper El Sol. When he was in his early 30s, Galeano was imprisoned during a right-wing military coup and later forced to flee from Uruguay to Argentina. Later, another coup and several death threats forced him to leave Argentina for Spain where he lived in exile until he was permitted to return to Uruguay in 1984. Days and Nights of Love and War resulted from an open conversation with his own memory as he tried to understand what had really happened in his life. He has written numerous books including Football in Sun and Shadow; Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent; Guatemala: Occupied Country; and The Book of Embraces. In 1989, Galeano won the American Book Award for Memory of Fire.
Isabel Allende was born in 1942 in Lima, Peru, the daughter of a Chilean diplomat. When her parents separated, young Isabel moved with her mother to Chile, where she spent the rest of her childhood. She married at the age of 19 and had two children, Paula and Nicolas. Her uncle was Salvador Allende, the president of Chile. When he was overthrown in the coup of 1973, she fled Chile, moving to Caracas, Venezuela. While living in Venezuela, Allende began writing her novels, many of them exploring the close family bonds between women. Her first novel, The House of the Spirits, has been translated into 27 languages, and was later made into a film. She then wrote Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, and The Stories of Eva Luna, all set in Latin America. The Infinite Plan was her first novel to take place in the United States. In Paula, Allende wrote her memoirs in connection with her daughter's illness and death. She delved into the erotic connections between food and love in Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses. In addition to writing books, Allende has worked as a TV interviewer, magazine writer, school administrator, and a secretary at a U.N. office in Chile. She received the 1996 Harold Washington Literacy Award. She lives in California. Her title Maya's Notebook made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2013.