Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Zorro

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A Novel

by Isabel Allende

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  • First Published:
    May 2005, 390 pages
    May 2006, 416 pages

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Beyond the Book

Allende was approached by John Gertz, who owns the rights to Zorro, to write a literary book about the famous character.  Gertz's father had bought the rights to Zorro from McCulley in 1920 and, in conjunction with Disney, had developed Zorro into a TV series, comic book and feature film.  When Gertz Jr bought the rights back it occurred to him that Zorro had never been portrayed in a 'serious' work of literature, so he started searching for a writer to hire - someone who knew California well, could think in Spanish and had a track record in historical research. 

Initially Allende brushed him off but rather than take no for an answer Gertz left her with a boxful of artefacts - tapes of old movies, comics etc, and so Allende says, "I fell in love again with Zorro .... because I had been in love with him when I was a child. He's the father of Batman and Superman. He's the father of all the action heroes with the double ...

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