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Paulo Coelho Biography

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To date, a total of 210 translations of Paulo Coelho's books have been sold: almost 43 million copies in 55 languages and 140 countries. He is one of the most widely read authors in the world, and his books have had a life-enhancing impact on his readers.

Paulo Coelho has led an extreme life. Rebelliousness defined his youth. He was a hippie. He wrote popular song lyrics for some of Brazil's famous pop music stars, including Elis Regina and Raul Seixas. Shortly after, he worked as a journalist. In 1986, Coelho walked along the Road of Santiago, the ancient Spanish pilgrimage. He would later describe this experience in The Pilgrimage, published in 1987. The following year, his second book The Alchemist established his worldwide fame and became a publishing phenomenon.

Other titles include Brida (1990), The Valkyries (1992), Maktub (1994) - a compilation of his daily column, By The River Piedra I Saw Down & Wept (1994), The Fifth Mountain (1996), The Manual Of The Warrior Of Light (1997); Veronika Decides To Die (1998). His most recent novel, The Devil And Miss Prym (2000), is a resounding success in all the countries where it has been published to date.

For ten years, Coelho's different titles have made the top places on the bestseller lists around the world.  He was named the second best-selling author worldwide by the French magazine "Lire" (March 1999), a nomination based on information from several leading bestseller lists. The critics have especially praised his poetic, realistic and philosophical style, and the symbolic language that does not speak to our brains, but to our hearts.

Coelho is the founder of the Paulo Coelho Institute, which provides support and opportunities for underprivileged members of the Brazilian society, especially children and the elderly. He was appointed special advisor to the UNESCO program "Spiritual Convergences and Intercultural Dialogues" and he was recently appointed board member of the Schwab Foundation for social entrepreneurship. He was the first non-Muslim author to be invited to Iran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. On July 25, 2002, Coelho became a member of the prestigious Brazilian Academy of Letters (ABL), founded more than a century ago. --adapted from Sant Jordi Literary Agency's Paulo Coelho biography


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