Discover all about the author who has sold more than 200 million books and is leading in the digital world 1
Â© Paul Macleod
ÂŠ Paul Macleod
Paulo Coelho: The Man Behind the Literary Bestsellers and the Social Media Phenomenon 3
“I believe Paulo Coelho is more than a writer who inspires contemplation. Above all, he’s a rebel, a nonconformist who has never been scared of speaking his mind and, in some cases, has anticipated the changes that are affecting our society today. And he’s done it all with seeming simplicity and clear language, making that which is hard look easy: connecting with millions of readers around the world. I think that’s already reason enough to pay attention to him. Moreover, this is coming from a person who’s had an incredibly intense life and has been on the brink of many abysses, so it’s clear this author has a lot to say.” Elena de Alaminos Paulo Coelho reader
New Challenges When I was fifteen years old, I told my mother I wanted to be a writer. “Son,” she said, in a sad way, “your father is an engineer.” Much later I realized that I had already known then what my goal in this life was–quite different from knowing what the meaning of life is. Can you believe that one of the most frequent questions I am asked in any interview is, “And now, are you happy?” This in turn elicits an immediate reaction: Have I said I am happy? Well, no. I am not happy, and the search for happiness as a main goal is not part of my world. Obviously, like any other human being, I try to do what I like doing. However, to get here, I’ve had to fight many battles, good ones, with victories and defeats. That means I carry many scars. I rebelled against my parents. I’ve been admitted into an asylum three times. I lived the hippie dream, pushing the boundaries in my life experiences and experimenting with all kinds of excesses. I traveled the world with twenty dollars in
my pocket. I became interested in black magic and Satanism. I dove into the rock-and-roll world with Raul Seixas, scoring great hits while fame and drugs placed me on the brink of the abyss. I was considered subversive by the military dictatorship and was arrested and tortured.
have the power to build bridges toward understanding. Even if my neighbor does not share my religion or political beliefs, the possibility of building those bridges is always in our hands. There’s always an opportunity for reconciliation, to sit together at a table and end our history of confrontations.
Yet there was always something that pushed me forward, and it was most certainly not my search for happiness. What still interests me about life today is curiosity, challenges, and nonconformity. Everyone who knows me knows I’ve always been a nonconformist. I consider myself to be a restless person and a provocative author. I’ve always believed that provocation, from a positive standpoint, helps us see ourselves and move forward with the certainty that we will get ahead. I believe that provocation, at times, points to what we don’t like to produce a reaction that will set us in motion.
Seek out the most interesting things, unknown waters, strange people, provocative thoughts, and bold experiences. This is the only way we will contribute to the evolution of the world. All this has a price, but it’s worth it.
When I read about conflicts in the world–political, financial, or cultural conflicts–I like to remember that we
The first author to transcend paper and succeed in the digital world and social media
+28 millon Facebook followers
As you know, the Frankfurt Book Fair was a result of a new invention: movable type printing. We all know that Gutenberg’s invention was a major–probably the most significant–step to create a movement called The Renaissance, during which ideas could travel more freely. Thanks to the new printing process, ideas could be shared, and the world could be reshaped according to these ideas. So, the core of this discussion is this: sharing ideas. Yet, for the past ten years we have seen the advent of the Web, this incredible machine that is imposing a new way of sharing ideas and defying old economic models. Of course, I make my living from my copyrights, but at this very moment I am not concerned about this. I have to adapt myself. Not only by connecting more directly with my readers–something unthinkable a few years ago–but also by developing a new language, Internet-based, that will be the language of the future: direct, simple, without being superficial. But I am investing in something that every single writer in the world appreciates: to have his texts read by a maximum of people. Internet has taught me this: don’t be afraid of sharing your ideas. Don’t be afraid of engaging others to voice their ideas.
+700K page views*
Thank you. (Excerpt from the speech at Frankfurt Book Fair, 2008)
+180 million people reached in FB*
million post engagements*
+3.5 million video views in FB*
million followers on Twitter
million followers on Instagram
*Average monthly statistics 7
Sometimes I’m asked why I’m so successful. And the only answer I can come up with is that I’ve had the great fortune of connecting with my readers. I can’t predict what millions of people worldwide, from different cultures, will think about what they’re reading, so I write for the only person with whom I share some intimacy: myself. An author must take chances and not be a slave to themes in hopes of pleasing his readers. He needs to be honest with what he writes and transparent with himself, because the readers will notice when they are faced with a novel written solely to satisfy the “market trends,” and they will feel betrayed. I’ve used that freedom and ability to take risks to tackle my latest novel, The Spy, bringing Mata Hari’s story to life and putting myself in the shoes of a woman who decided to live her life unconstrained by conventions and whose only crime was to be a free and independent woman. Paulo Coelho
© Sylvia Feudor
More than twentyfive years on the bestseller’s podium
Her only crime was to be an independent woman “Mata Hari was one of our first feminists,” Coelho said, “defying male expectations of that time and choosing instead an independent, unconventional life. There are lessons we can draw from her life today, where accusations by the powerful still cost the innocent their lives.”
2016 The Spy When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Soon she was feted as the most elegant woman in the city. A dancer who shocked and delighted audiences; a confidant and courtesan who bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men. But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. Then, in 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs-Élysées and accused of espionage. Told through Mata Hari’s final letter, The Spy reveals the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to break the conventions of her time, and paid the price. 9
2014 At thirty-one, Linda has everything many dream of and few are able to obtain: a perfect life in Geneva, Switzerland. Suddenly, she encounters Jacob, her old high school sweetheart, who bursts into her life to snap her out of her lethargy and make her, once again, feel that unexpected passion she thought she had forgotten. Adultery brings forth the endless debate: Should we fight temptation or allow ourselves to get carried away by it? An explicit and direct book that breaks taboos and makes us question the need to live a life without living, faced with apathy, resignation, and the fear of nothing ever changing.
2012 Manuscript Found in Accra places us in July 14, 1099. Jerusalem is preparing for the invasion of the Crusaders. While they await the enemy attack, a Greek man by the name of Copt calls the city youth and elders to a meeting. What values will remain after all has been destroyed? Everyone asked him about his or her true enemies, defeat, loneliness; about the fight, change, beauty, and the path to be followed. About love, loyalty, fate, sex, fear, anxiety, wisdom, and what the future will hold. And Copt’s answers are still valid to this day, one thousand years later.
2010 Aleph is a stunning novel where the author reveals how a serious crisis of faith pushed him to embark on a journey in search of renewal and growth. He decided to start over: travel, experiment, reconnect with the world and the people, and let the signs once again lead his way. On board the Trans-Siberian, the encounter between Paulo and Hilal gives way to a journey through space and time, from the past to the present, in search of love and forgiveness. “When dissatisfaction doesn’t disappear we understand it was placed there for just one reason: We must change everything and continue moving forward.” Paulo Coelho
2008 Set at the Cannes Film Festival, during a twenty-four-hour period we will follow Igor, a Russian communications mogul. His path will be crossed by Gabriela, a young and ambitious actress; Jasmine, a model from Rwanda and exiled in Europe; Javits, an influential and corrupt producer; and Hamid, a stylist at the height of his career. Igor’s appearance will change their lives forever. Our insatiable need for recognition, fame, and fortune seems to draw us closer to success; however, in truth, it brings us closer to loneliness and distances us from our true feelings and values. The Winner Stands Alone is a powerful reflection on our most superficial side that makes us seem indifferent to the world we inhabit.
2006 The Witch of Portobello glorifies differences and criticizes a society and its intolerance, which vanquishes an individual’s freedom. “Athena’s biggest problem was being a twenty-secondcentury woman living in the twenty-first century, allowing everyone to see her. Did she pay a price? Without a doubt. But she would’ve paid a much higher price if she would’ve repressed her exuberance.” Paulo Coelho encourages us to defend our roots and beliefs over the will of others and without feeling ashamed about what makes us unique.
2006 “When I was fifteen, I wanted to be a writer, use glasses, have messy hair, and spend half my time angry and the other half depressed; to be misunderstood by my generation. Until one day, a rock singer asked me to write lyrics to his songs, withdrew me from my search for immortality, and placed me once again in everyday people’s paths. “This allowed me to travel to many locations, meet many people, visit many countries, sleep in many places . . . The pages of Like the River Flowing are tales about moments I experienced, stories I was told, and reflections contained in small pills for crazy people.” Paulo Coelho
2005 The Zahir is an inner voyage that the author decides to embark on when he realizes his obsession is nothing more than an impasse keeping him from the truth: to accept that his life isn’t as perfect as he thinks. “Everything seemed great among them until Esther disappeared without a trace. The police elaborated kidnapping and murder hypotheses . . . while the husband, guided by these questions, set off on an unexpected journey in search of his wife.” This novel suggests we fight what obsesses us, what blocks our way, what doesn’t allow us to move forward. Because an obsession is the sign that there is something within us that is not working well.
2003 “Once upon a time there was a prostitute named María . . .” that’s the start of the novel that moved the world. Eleven Minutes isn’t intended to be a manual about a man and woman facing the unknown world of a sexual relationship, but rather a work of social and critical realism through eroticism and sex. It reclaims the importance of not denying the instincts that emerge from the dark side of desire. It’s the vindication of feminine sexuality and the exploration of the fear of completely surrendering beyond our own barriers. Because the world circles around something that only lasts eleven minutes.
2000 Miss Prym is torn between the angel and the devil that, like everyone, she carries within her. The Devil and Miss Prym brings the “And by the seventh day . . .” trilogy to a close, which began with By the River Piedra I Sat and Wept and was followed by Veronika Decides to Die. The three books narrate one week in the life of normal people who are suddenly faced with love, death, and power. There comes a time in life where the demons within us wake up; in that moment, it’s useless to pretend nothing is going on. The challenge does not wait. One week is enough to know if we choose to accept our fate or not.
1998 Veronika seems to have it all: she goes to trendy places, has dates with young attractive men . . . but she’s not happy. Something is missing in her life. That’s why, one morning, she decides to die. Veronika Decides to Die is part of the “And on the seventh day . . .” trilogy, together with By the River Piedra I Sat and Wept and The Devil and Miss Prym. The three books narrate one week in the life of normal people who are suddenly faced with love, death, and power. Sometimes, those who swim upstream, those who are different, who don’t play by the rules, who fearlessly face routines without fearing rejection, are considered crazy; but what if they were actually the sane ones?
The Manual of the Warrior of Light talks about the inner battle we each fight every day. They are battles against worry, contradictions, doubts, and losses. However, within each of us there lives a warrior of light. A warrior of light still has the spark in his eyes.
In the year 870 BC the inhabitants of Phoenicia believe that the prophet Elijah is responsible for their misfortunes and condemn him to death. He knows that the battle lies in choosing to move on with the inevitable or fight against fate.
He isn’t always courageous and doesn’t always act right. He suffers over useless things, sometimes he believes he’s incapable of growing, and he’s not always secure.
The Fifth Mountain teaches us that we can all sometimes fall prey to apathy and neglect, letting fate take over our life. Only when we face what seems inevitable and leave the burden of the past behind us will we be able to evolve.
That’s why they are warriors of light. Because they make mistakes. Because they accept defeat. Because they question themselves. Because they keep their hope alive amid exhaustion and discouragement. Because they search for a reason, and they do not stop until they find it.
1994 By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is the first book in the trilogy “And on the seventh day . . .”, which is followed by Veronika Decides to Die and The Devil and Miss Prym. The three books narrate one week in the life of normal people who are suddenly faced with love, death, and power. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept talks about the importance of rebelling against conventions and following our instincts to live an intense life. Being in touch with our feminine side is the backdrop to a love story told by Pilar, a woman who’s afraid to experience her feelings. A seven-day journey, thanks to its challenge and audacity, will change her life.
Maktub is a collection of columns that Paulo Coelho published during a year in the Folha de São Paulo. A series of stories and parables inspired by sources and folklore from several places that pick up on different cultures’ wisdom.
A man and a woman, motivated by a spiritual search, travel to the arid and supposedly empty Mojave Desert. Throughout forty days, surrounded by doubt and temptation, they will meet their most intimate conflicts.
In the words of Paulo Coelho himself, “Maktub is not a self-help book, but rather an exchange of experiences,” an excellent moment to reflect and find ourselves.
The Valkyries brings us face to face with a battle against our vulnerability and fear of change, an inner war between our acceptance or our self-destruction.
1990 Brida realizes she must control her fear and successfully get through the Dark Night. That Dark Night we must all face once in a while. This is the story of Brida O’Fern, a curious, brave, and bold young woman who confronts her darkest side, dominated by fear. Brida immerses us in the magic of discovering who we are through our decisions without the fear of making a mistake.
1988 Santiago, a young pastor, one day abandons his flock in search of his most precious treasure. He has no idea the adventures that await him when he looks at the universe. “When I wrote The Alchemist I was trying to understand the raison d’être. Instead of creating a philosophical treaty, I decided to talk with a boy who existed in my soul. To my surprise, this boy lived within millions of people around the world. With this book I want to share with my readers the questions that, precisely for not having answers, make life a great adventure.” Paulo Coelho
1987 The Pilgrimage is a diary about a trip taken by the main character along the Way of St. James and his encounter and battle with the light and shadow within his own self. A battle we must all fight against our arrogance and we can only face through humility and acceptance of our weaknesses. “Santiago de Compostela is the Spanish city known as the international capital of pilgrimages. Neither Petrus, my teacher, nor I know that this afternoon I walk toward my fate, which I have dreamed of and denied so many times. I am walking toward the story of my rebirth.” Only after defeating arrogance can you be the owner of your steps and path, the architect of your dream.
© Philip Volsem
The “Other” Books by Paulo Coelho
Translated into sixteen languages and edited every year with a different theme (Courage in 2016 and Friendship in 2017), these diaries gather several quotes, ideas, and thoughts from the author’s books. Published since 2005, the editions are beautifully illustrated by Colombian artist Catalina Estrada.
Published in five editions–Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, and Indonesian–The Magical Moment is an original collection of Paulo Coelho’s best tweets, delicately illustrated by Korean artist Joong Hwan Hwangm.
The Way of The Bow This tale tells the story of Tetsuya, the country’s best goalkeeper, who communicates his lessons to a boy from his village. The daily work and effort, overcoming difficulties, perseverance, and the courage to make risky decisions are some of the aspects that emerge throughout this story. Paulo Coelho has been able to portray, in a few pages, many of the values that inspire our day to day: innovation, flexibility, adapting to change, enthusiasm, team work . . .
The Book of Manuals The author’s passion for manuals (from how to repair a ship to how to use a computer) led him to develop his own manuals about everyday life, where he has gathered his observations and thoughts about the most diverse vital themes. The Book of Manuals is a collection of all the manuals that the author has written throughout the last years. A useful manual for life.
Stories for Parents, Children, and Grandchildren (Illustrated by Christina Oiticica) A careful collection of happy, surprising, and dramatic stories based on legends and traditional tales from different cultures, simple and inspiring stories for readers of all ages, in a unique edition illustrated with great sensibility by the author’s wife, artist Christina Oiticica.
Christmas Stories Between 1998 and 2008, every December, Paulo Coelho has written a Christmas story to bid farewell to the past year. In them, the author has shared his experiences and thoughts with millions of readers around the world in more than sixty-four countries and, aside from cultures and religions, they’ve been able to enjoy those stories. This special e-book edition of his Christmas Stories features the ten Christmas stories written by the author throughout that decade.
Love Letters of a Prophet (By Kahlil Gibran) The great challenge lies in discovering our unique self, asking ourselves questions, and trying to search for answers. Kahlil Gibran, with his work, has helped those searching for answers and enjoying the adventure of self-discovery. However, where Kahlil Gibran’s goodness of his soul is revealed is in his letters to Maria Haskell, the love of his life. To discover the man behind The Prophet, Paulo Coelho has compiled, translated, and adapted part of this intimate correspondence.
The Supreme Gift (By Henry Drummond) At the end of the nineteenth century, the young missionary Henry Drummond had to replace a famous priest. Although at first he wasn’t able to convince his parishioners, he soon captured their attention with the analysis of the words of Paul the Apostle. His sermon, The Greatest Thing in the World, has become a classic and is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful texts ever written about love. The Supreme Gift is a translation and free adaptation by Paulo Coelho based on the original work by Henry Drummond. 19
The Alchemist (Illustrated by Michael Galvin) This magnificent young adult edition of Paulo Coelho’s emblematic work was published in 2016 in France.
Books of Quotes Always based on a theme or concrete concept, Love and Life are some of the books regularly published that gather Paulo Coelho’s most inspiring written and shared quotes.
Illustrated by French artist Michael Galvin in black and blue duochromes, this illustrator’s images accompany the novel’s inspiring text creating an elegant and high-quality edition.
The Love edition is illustrated by Colombian artist Catalina Estrada and Life was done by Norwegian Anne Kristin Hagesæther, giving these titles a unique character and value.
Maktub (Illustrated by Joong Hwan Hwangm) Maktub (a word which means “it’s written” in Arabic) is not a self-help book, but rather an exchange of experiences between the author and his readers. This book brings together a selection (in the shape of short stories, thoughts, and articles) of Paulo Coelho’s purest essence. The material, originally published between 1993 and 1994 in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, has been printed now in a careful edition illustrated with extreme sensibility by Korean artist Joong Hwan Hwangm.
The Alchemist (Illustrated by Moebius) “I discovered Moebius in the early seventies. His birds, his horizons, his labyrinths have enriched my imagination and allowed me to have a clearer and deeper vision of myself. With the passing of time, my goal has been for my readers to discover the magic hidden in everyday life. In some way, my work reflects what I’ve learned from the great masters who open the doors to the imagination. Among them, Moebius holds a privileged place.” Paulo Coelho
on the NYT Book Review print paperback bestsellers list1
ÂŠ Sylvia Feudor
Paulo Coelho Translated into Digits
published books 19 novels 6 collections 3 adaptations
930 versions of his work
entries in Wikipedia about the author and his work
weeks with The Alchemist
movie about his life Work published in
+115 awards and honors novel adapted for film
Ute Lemper was inspired by Paulo Coelhoâ€™s texts in The Manuscript Found in Accra for her songs in her album
The 9 Secrets
Member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters since
2002 Guinness World Record
for the most translated author
United Nations Peace Messenger since
for most translations of a single title signed by the author in one sitting
time a Paulo Coelho novel is translated into Frisian
Guinness World Record
Knight of the French Legion of Honor
most influential person after the Pope, according to Thought Leaders 2015, published by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI) and The WorldPost in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 23
The Paulo Coelho Brand in the World That Paulo Coelho is considered the second most influential voice in the world after Pope Francis by Global Thought Leaders is truly a great responsibility for anyone. It’s proof that Paulo Coelho’s brand extends beyond the person due to his ability to shape the way we think and the power to spread and share ideas, which undoubtedly influences people’s lives. Great ideas are what can help us change the world.
© Sylvia Feudor
The values he represents can be applied to other areas of society, so it makes sense that other brands that share those values seek him out to partner with him and collaborate in all kinds of initiatives.
Mercedes Montegrappa In 2006, the Italian manufacturer of fountain pens named Paulo Coelho ambassador of this brand and launched the model “Espressione” with his name on it as well as an edition of “The Alchemist” with three types of finishes, including one made with sterling silver and 18 karat gold.
Starbucks Hewlett Packard In March 2007, HP launched “The Computer Is Personal Again” campaign in Latin America with a TV ad featuring Paulo Coelho. The author’s proceeds were donated to the Paulo Coelho Institute, a foundation that helps children who live in favelas in Río de Janeiro.
In 2007, the coffee chain distributed 5 million cups with Paulo Coelho quotes printed on them. Additionally, in their German stores, they handed out 250,000 pamphlets that included the first chapter of The Witch of Portobello.
In 2008, coinciding with the Frankfurt Book Fair, Paulo Coelho was invited to kick off the exhibit “The Alchemy of Letters”, organized by the prestigious car brand at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, in honor of the author’s book The Alchemist. It was a chance for visitors to immerse themselves in the author’s biography and world.
Jana Volkswagen During June 2009, in Prague, Czech Republic, Paulo Coelho filmed a Volkswagen Brazil TV ad for its model Voyage.
Mango Combining fashion with good causes, in 2009 the fashion brand Mango launched a mini collection of six T-shirts with some of Paulo Coelho’s most legendary phrases. Part of the proceeds of these T-shirts was donated to the Paulo Coelho Institute.
In November 2014, this mineral water brand produced 49 million bottles with more than 80 different text extracts from Paulo Coelho’s work on their labels. They were distributed in different countries, including Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and the United States.
Chipotle In 2015, Paulo Coelho participated in the initiative carried out by Chipotle, a Mexican-food chain based in the United States, to democratize literature. Several of the author’s phrases and thoughts were printed on their take-out bags designed for this occasion and with the goal of reaching more than 800,000 people daily.
Perhaps the idea of what it means to me to be committed to society, to give back to the world a part of what I’ve had the fortune of receiving, is summed up in this small extract from the speech I read during the World Economic Forum opening ceremony on June 21, 2003, next to the Dead Sea. “A warrior of light does not sit comfortably in his tent, observing what is happening in the world; he accepts each challenge as if it were an opportunity to transform himself and help transform the world. And when a warrior of light becomes old, he can tell his children that he was placed in this world to help his fellow people, rather than to condemn his neighbor.”
© Reto Albertalli/phovea/Penguin Random House
The Other Work of a Socially Engaged Author
Paulo Coelho Institute The Paulo Coelho Institute is a nonprofit organization mainly financed by Paulo Coelho’s royalties. Its goal is to offer opportunities to children in need, ages three months to eighteen years, through education rather than charity, providing financial support to the school Solar Escola Meninos da Luz in the PavãoPavãozinho favela in Río de Janeiro.
He began this work in 1996 helping 80 children and has since been providing education that has lead more than 480 children a year to college or a job.
Paulo Coelho and Christina Oiticica Foundation Soon to be opened in Geneva, Switzerland–the place the author and his wife have called home for the last few years–the foundation will have an archive of 80,000 documents of all kinds and photographs, as well as a museum with Paulo Coelho’s complete work digitalized, and a multitude of objects related to the author’s life and work.
The foundation, located on a 2,000 square-foot ground floor in a residential building in Geneva, will also host themed exhibits and will be the reference point to all the followers of his ideas and his philosophy of life. The space will also hold a permanent exhibit of the work of his wife, Christina Oiticica.
The Life Timeline of a Transgressive and Visionary Author On the morning of August 24, 1947, St. Bartholomew’s Day, a baby was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Stillborn and motionless in his mother’s womb, showing not the slightest intention of going out into the world, the baby had to be removed using forceps. When pulling him out, the doctor must have heard a slight noise, similar to the sound produced by a breaking pencil: it was the child’s delicate collarbone which had not withstood the pressure of the forceps. But there was no point regretting the incident: the newborn child was dead, asphyxiated by the fluid that had protected him for nine months in his mother’s body. His grieving Catholic parents called for someone to administer the last rites to the child. In the absence of a priest, a nun from the hospital was called to give the final blessing. Then, the sound of the parents’ weeping was joined by a moan, almost a mew: the boy was alive. In a deep coma, but alive. Being born was the first challenge destiny had set Paulo Coelho, and he had survived it.”
© Niels Akermann
Extract from A Warrior’s Life by Fernando Morais
1947 Birth Paulo Coelho is born on August 24, 1947, in RĂo de Janeiro. He quickly shows great precociousness when speaking and walking earlier than expected.
50s His First Years During his childhood, he begins to tell and make up stories at school and is awarded his first writing and composition prizes. Despite this, and during this time, he doesnâ€™t stand out in any special way in his studies.
Shortly before entering a prestigious school, he spends a summer at a military camp to fortify his body and discipline. At twelve years old, he begins to write a diary where he bears witness to his experiences and feelings.
As a great admirer of the renowned Brazilian author Jorge Amado, at fourteen, Paulo firmly decides to become an influential and famous writer.
70s A Troubled Adolescence
Given his troubled and rebellious character, at seventeen his parents commit him to an asylum. Heâ€™s subjected to electroshock therapy. In the attempt to provide an outlet for his literary calling, he begins to write regular articles on different subjects:
A Rebel in Search of his Own Path drugs, hallucinations, esotericism, and paranormal phenomena. Allowing himself to be carried away by his artistic streak and attracted to the stage, he begins to work in the theater world, writing, acting, and directing his own plays.
During this decade, Paulo lives an intense life, completely immersed in the hippie philosophy and culture, which introduces him to the world of drugs and experiences that make him live on the edge, surrendering to all kinds of excesses.
Like many other young people at the start of this decade, with only twenty dollars in his pocket and a backpack, he sets out to travel the world and embarks on a long journey that takes him to Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and, later, a bus trip across all of the United States.
He slowly distances himself from the Christian religion and begins to take interest in studying other spiritual avenues. Gathering his main life experiences, he starts to take his first steps as a writer and manages to publish some books.
His encounter with Raul Seixas, at the time an emerging rock idol in Brazil with whom he would start Sociedade Alternativa, brings him success and money in the world of music as a songwriter, producer, and later, a record executive. Fame and drugs place Paulo on the brink of the abyss.
Considered subversive and dangerous by the military dictatorship due to his lyrics, heâ€™s arrested several times (once snatched in the middle of the street) and likely tortured in the police precinct itself.
After living with different women, practicing free love, and jumping from one lover to the next for some years, he finally finds love with Christina Oiticica, his current wife and woman of his life.
1988 The Writer’s Journey to his Great Work
He leaves his job as record director at Polygram to travel Europe (from Romania to Norway) with Christina. In Germany, he visits the Dachau concentration camp, where he has a vision that will later be his teacher in the Order of R.A.M.
Following his teacher’s advice, at thirty-nine, he decides to walk the Way of St. James, where he has a revelation. After his stay in Spain, he writes The Pilgrimage, a novel that narrates his experiences during the journey down this mystical path of self-discovery.
The Alchemist’s Success After some initial setbacks, he manages to finally publish The Alchemist, his most emblematic work, which launches him into fame, turning him into a worldwide publishing phenomenon and one of the most read and influential authors of our time.
Praise for Paulo Coelhoâ€™s Work
(Answer to What’s the last truly great book you read?) “The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. I like it because it is hopeful and inspiring. It tells the story of a boy who embarks on a journey to find a treasure, but as he goes along, he learns from every part of his journey and every person he meets. In the end, he finds his treasure in a very interesting place. His story tells you that you should believe in yourself and continue your journey.” Malala Yousafzai Nobel Peace Prize 2014
“Mr. Coelho’s talent as a writer and his exceptional ability to touch the lives of men and women across boundaries and cultures makes him a powerful Messenger.” Ban Ki-Moon UN Secretary - General
“We believe in the words of Paulo Coelho, one of your most famous writers: ‘With the strength or our love and our will we can change our destiny as well as the destiny of many others.” Barack Obama US President
“Though he doesn’t consider himself a spiritual guide, Paulo Coelho has been one of my great teachers. I still keep The Alchemist beside my bed and am always meeting others who do the same.” Oprah Winfrey Talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist
“Paulo Coelho knows the secret of literary Alchemy.” Kenzaburö Öe Nobel Prize of Literature
“From that book I learned to always follow my own path through life. I try to make my own story as complete as possible, to meet the challenges that lie ahead of me. And my firm belief is that I do a better job as a football coach if I dedicate myself completely to it.” Manuel Pellegrini Soccer Manager and Coach
“Paulo Coelho, you have become the alchemist for millions of readers. Your books do good because they stimulate our capacity to dream, our desire to search, and to find ourselves through this search.” Philippe Douste-Blazy Former French Minister of Culture, France
“When I’m on the set with young actors and sometimes you meet people in life who you feel are a little confused and they want to be re-centered, there are two books that I always recommend. One of them is Siddhartha . . . and the other is The Alchemist. I’ve used them in other situations as well when teenage sons or daughters of friends of mine have a question or two. They are very basic, rich, philosophical allegories. I always recommend they take the afternoon off and just read it in one hit.” Russell Crowe Actor
“I like Coelho’s most recent novel, Veronika Decides to Die. It really touched me deeply.” Umberto Eco Writer
“Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist, which is my favorite book, talks about the whole of the universe, and it’s contained in one grain of sand. For years I’ve been saying that, and now it’s really starting to expose itself to me. My own grain of sand has been story. The next ten years will be my peak of innovation in filmmaking and just as a human being.” Will Smith Actor
“I am not a strong reader, but there are a few books I do care a lot about, such as those by Coelho, The Alchemist, which I have read and reread, and The Manual of the Warrior of Light.” Tiziano Ferro Songwriter and Singer
“The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, is a brilliant, magical, life-changing book that continues to blow my mind with its lessons. I’ve never, ever encountered a book that would so consistently have me read a passage and be so moved and changed that I would just set the book down and think about what I just learned. It’s a remarkable tome.” Neil Patrick Harris Actor
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Contact: Sant Jordi Asociados Agencia Literaria email@example.com • www.santjordi-asociados.com Phone: + 34 93 224 01 07 Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 89 1º 1ª, 08008 Barcelona, España 40