Author and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Isabel Allende told the audience at the National Book Awards that she has “a lover at 76” Wednesday evening, according to a New York Times reporter. The remark was reportedly met with the biggest applause of the night. “I have cultivated a larger than life persona, probably to compensate for my small stature,” she reportedly said on-stage at the event, where she received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Chilean Allende is best known for her novels The House of Spirits and City of the Beasts. In 2010, she received Chile's National Literature Prize and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2014.