Brief Profile: Paulo Coelho

by Duke Magazine

Paulo Coelho de Souza is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist, prominent for his best selling novel ‘The Alchemist’. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, Coelho grew to develop keen enthusiasm in writing even at the frowns of his parents to his dream of becoming a writer. He escaped thrice from a mental institution his parents took him to at age 17, and was later compelled to study Law while he abandoned his writing dream. Coelho later dropped out of the Law school after the first year, and started living on himself thereby traveling round the continents of South America, North America, and Europe.

Coelho later returned back to Brazil to start working as a songwriter and lyricist for Elis Regina, Rita Lee, and the icon Raul Seixas. Coelho also worked as an actor, journalist and theatre director before pursuing his writing career. In 1986, Coelho walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. On the path, he had a spiritual awakening, which he described autobiographically in ‘The Pilgrimage’, a book he published in 1987. His second successfully published book ‘The Alchemist’ was released in 1988, which gained the readers’ attention alongside with ‘Bride’. Harper Collins then decided to publish ‘The Alchemist’ book in 1994, and later became an international bestseller.

In his bid to win over delay and redundancy about launching his writing career, Coelho said, “If I see a white feather today, that is a sign that God is giving me that I have to write a new book.” Nevertheless, Coelho found a white feather in the window of a shop, and began writing that very day. The successful publication of ‘The Alchemist’ has poised Coelho to writing at least a novel in every two years. Four of his books (The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, Hippie, and Aleph) are autobiographical, the bulk of his books are fiction-based. 

Coelho’s work has been published in more than 170 countries, with about 80 language translations.   The totality of his books have been sold in the hundreds of millions.  Coelho was in 2016 listed by UK-based company, Richtopia, as the second in the list of 200 most influential contemporary authors.

Coelho has initially had an agreement with the late basketball player, Kobe Bryant, who contacted him about a children’s book project. But, the whole draft and preparation was halted at the announcement of Kobe Bryant’s demise in January 2020.

Meanwhile, it was announced in 2018, that Coelho had signed for a TV series based on the characters of his novels ‘The Devil and Miss Prym’, ‘Bride’, and ‘The Witch of Portobello’.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
? Hi, how can I help?