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Paolo Coelho (24.08.1947) - Brazilian writer.

Paolo Coelho is an internationally-recognized author. He wrote over twenty of bestselling books, which were translated into many world languages. He was born on August 24, 1947 in Rio de Janeiro. Before becoming famous Coelho led a very intense and full of hardships life. As a teenager he went through brutal electric shock treatment in a psychiatric hospital.

Three times he was placed there by his parents for disobedience which they took as madness. Later on, he joined the esoteric underground society. He had experience of being at jail for political reasons. Apart from novels, this Brazilian poet wrote several anthologies, parables and short story collections. However, his most renowned work was The Alchemist. This book brought him international recognition. In total there were 300 million samples sold.

His family never supported his wish to become a writer. After graduating from the secondary school he was forced by parents to enter the Law School in Rio. However, Paolo soon left the studies to become a journalist. Thats when the misunderstanding between him and his parents grew deeper and they placed the teenage Paolo at the private psychiatric clinic.

Neither the first course of electric shock treatment, nor the second changed his will and confidence to become a writer. Escaping from the clinic, he wandered for a while and eventually returned home. A year later he joined the movement of amateur theater. Later he was also a part of hippie society. Together with the rock-star Raul Seixas he wrote over one hundred songs. He led a very intense life at that time, as a playwright, a hippie, an actor, a TV producer, etc.

It all ended in 1982 when he met a mysterious stranger in Europe who convinced him to become a pilgrim. He started travelling the world and met his current wife and life partner Christina. In 1988 together with her he undertook the 40-day pilgrimage to the Mojave Desert. Later on he described the events of this trip in the book Valkyries.

At the moment Paolo lives and works in his native Rio de Janeiro and occasionally in Tarbes, France. During his literary career he has received numerous prestigious awards. His symbolic and yet realistic style of writing is highly praised by critics. Coelhos books appeal firstly to the readers hearts, not to their minds.



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