Chilean Allende wins Danish literature prize for 'magical storytelling'

COPENHAGEN - Chilean author Isabel Allende has won a Danish literature prize for her "magical and spellbinding storytelling."

The 500,000 kroner ($86,000) Hans Christian Andersen Literature Prize is given to a writer whose works compare with those of the legendary Andersen, who was born in 1805 and wrote about 160 fairytales and poems before his death in 1875.

More than 57 million copies of Allende's books, which incorporate elements of magic and fantasy, have been sold worldwide, most notably "The House of the Spirits," which catapulted her to fame when it was published in 1982.

Prize organizers praised Allende's "mixture of various ages, cultures, forms of knowledge and myths" that have given her storytelling "wingspan and height."

Previous award recipients include Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho and "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling.