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Paulo Coelho (1947–2024)

Author of The Alchemist

222+ Works 89,599 Members 2,026 Reviews 237 Favorited

About the Author

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 24, 1947. As a teenager, he wanted to become a writer, but his parents wanted him to pursue a more substantial and secure career. At the age of 17, his introversion and opposition to his parents led them to commit him to a mental show more institution. He escaped three times before being released at the age of 20. Once released, he abandoned his ideas of becoming a writer and enrolled in law school to please his parents. He stayed in law school for one year. In 1986, Coelho walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, a turning point in his life. On the path, he had a spiritual awakening, which he described in his book The Pilgrimage. Before becoming a full-time author, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist, and journalist. He wrote song lyrics for many famous performers in Brazilian music including Elis Regina, Rita Lee, and Raul Seixas. His first book, Hell Archives, was published in 1982. He has written over 25 books since then including The Alchemist, Brida, The Fifth Mountain, The Devil and Miss Prym, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, Like a Flowing River, and Adultery. He received numerous awards including Las Pergolas Prize, The Budapest Prize, Nielsen Gold Book Award, and the Grand Prix Litteraire Elle. In 1996, he founded the Paulo Coelho Institute, which provides aid to children and elderly people with financial problems. In 2007, Coelho was named a Messenger of Peace to the United Nations. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist (1988) 39,371 copies
Veronika Decides to Die (1998) 7,129 copies
Eleven Minutes (2003) 5,344 copies
The Zahir (2005) 4,192 copies
The Witch of Portobello (2006) 3,763 copies
The Devil and Miss Prym (2000) 3,733 copies
Brida (1990) 2,579 copies
The Fifth Mountain (1996) 2,538 copies
Warrior of the Light (1997) 2,323 copies
The Valkyries (1992) 1,806 copies
The Winner Stands Alone (2008) 1,447 copies
Aleph (2010) 1,142 copies
Adultery (2014) 901 copies
Manuscript Found in Accra (2013) 831 copies
The Spy: A novel (2013) 804 copies
Maktub (1901) 442 copies
Hippie (2018) 418 copies
The Archer (2008) 342 copies
Life: Selected Quotations (2007) 273 copies
The Supreme Gift (1994) 96 copies
AMOR (Spanish Edition) (2010) 57 copies
The Essential Paulo Coelho (2018) 50 copies
And on the Seventh Day (2001) 47 copies
Unterwegs. Der Wanderer. (2004) 45 copies
The Paulo Coelho Collection (1997) 13 copies
Casus (2016) 7 copies
Enigma: 2008 calendar (2007) 7 copies
Moments 2012: Diary (2011) 6 copies
Freedom: Day Planner 2018 (2017) 4 copies
O Mosteiro Pode Acabar (1999) 4 copies
Biografia d'un narrador (2003) 4 copies
O Arqueiro (2023) 3 copies
Eleven Minutes 3 copies
Mãe 3 copies
ZAHIRI 3 copies
Rukopis otkriven u Akri (2014) 3 copies
The Complete Collection (2010) 3 copies
Preljuba (2014) 2 copies
Besinci Dag (2020) 2 copies
Lukostřelec (2023) 2 copies
Maktub. Destino 2 copies
Le Don suprême (2023) 2 copies
Paulo Coelho (2015) 2 copies
Goncalo Byrne, 1941-... (2011) 2 copies
Secrets: Day Planner 2020 (2019) 2 copies
VIDA (SELECCION DE CITAS) (2008) 2 copies
Duvvumin maktub (2004) 2 copies
Amicizia. Agenda 2017 (2016) 2 copies
Keemiyagar 1 copy
Courage: 2016 Calendar (2015) 1 copy
Simyaci Ciltli (2007) 1 copy
BRIDA 1 copy
Strelac 1 copy
The Classic Collection (2018) 1 copy
Nha gia kim 1 copy
MATURIA 1 copy
Hipík (2018) 1 copy
Força 2023 1 copy
مکتوب 1 copy
Szerelem (2009) 1 copy
Aldatmak - Mini Kitap (2016) 1 copy

Associated Works

Siddhartha (1945) — Introduction, some editions — 27,905 copies
Paulo Coelho: Confessions of a Pilgrim (1999) — Narrator — 178 copies
Veronika Decides To Die [2009 film] (2009) — Original book — 10 copies
Beyond Our Differences [2008 film] (2008) — Interviewee — 5 copies


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Common Knowledge

Legal name
de Souza, Paulo Coelho
Date of death
Country (for map)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Places of residence
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Geneva, Switzerland
Colégio Santo Inácio-Rede Jesuíta de Educação
theater director
lyricist (show all 7)
Oiticica, Christina (wife)
United Nations (Messenger of Peace)
European Union (Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue)
Shimon Peres Institute for Peace
UNESCO (special counsellor for “Intercultural Dialogues and Spiritual Convergences”)
Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
Brazilian Academy of Letters
Awards and honors
Legion d'Honneur
Knight of Arts and Letters ( [1996])
Flaiano (1996)
Comendador de Ordem do Rio Branco ( [1998])
Crystal Award (World Economic Forum ∙ 1999)
Crystal Mirror Award ( [2000]) (show all 18)
Premio Internazionale Fregene ( [2001])
Planetary Arts Award (Club of Budapest ∙ 2002)
Order of St. Sophia (contribution to revival of science and culture ∙ [2004])
Order of Honour (Ukraine ∙ 2004)
Budapest Prize ( [2005])
Goldene Feder Award ( [2005])
International Author Award (DirectGroup ∙ [2005])
Wilbur Award (Religion Communicators Council ∙ [2006])
Cruz do Mérito do Empreendedor Juscelino Kubitschek ( [2006])
I Premio Álava en el Corazón ( [2006])
Las Pergolas Prize (Association of Mexican Booksellers ∙ [2006])
Distinction of Honour (City of Odense - Hans Christian Andersen Award ∙ [2007])
Sant Jordi Asociados, Barcelona
Short biography
The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeirom, and died in 2024 at the age of 77. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist.

Coelho wrote song lyrics for many famous performers in Brazilian music, such as Elis Regina and Rita Lee. Yet his most well known work has been done with Raul Seixas. Together they wrote such successes as Eu nasci há dez mil anos atrás (I was born ten thousand years ago), Gita and Al Capone, amongst other 60 songs.

His fascination with the spiritual quest dates back to his hippie days, when he travelled the world learning about secret societies, oriental religions, etc.

In 1982 Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make any kind of impact. In 1985 he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves, since he considered it “of bad quality”. In 1986, PAULO COELHO did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage.

In the following year, COELHO published The Alchemist. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time.

Other titles include Brida (1990), The Valkyries (1992), By the river Piedra I sat Down and Wept (1994), the collection of his best columns published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo entitle Maktub (1994), the compilation of texts Phrases (1995), The Fifth Mountain (1996), Manual of a Warrior of Light (1997), Veronika decides to die (1998), The Devil and Miss Prym (2000), the compilation of traditional tales in Stories for parents, children and grandchildren (2001), Eleven Minutes (2003), The Zahir (2005), The Witch of Portobello (2006) and a compilation of texts gathered under the title Like a Flowing River (2006) published in a few countries for the moment.

He also adapted The Gift (Henry Drummond) and Love letters of a prophet (Kalil Gibran).

To date, Coelho has sold a total of 100 million copies and, according to the magazine Publishing Trends; he was the most sold author in the world in 2003 with his book Eleven Minutes – even though at the time it hadn't been released in the United States, Japan or 10 other countries!

Also according to Publishing Trends, The Alchemist was to be found in the 6th place of world sales in 2003. Eleven Minutes topped all lists in the world, except for England, where it was in second place. The Zahir, published in 2005, was in third place of bestsellers according to Publishing Trends, after Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons.

The Alchemist was one of the most important literary phenomena of the 20th century. It reaches the first place in bestselling lists in 18 countries, and so far has sold 30 million copies.

The book has been praised by different personalities ranging from the Nobel Prize Kenzaburo Oe to the singer Madonna, who considers it one of her favourite books. It has equally inspired many projects – such as a musical in Japan, theatre plays in France, Belgium, USA, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland. It is also the theme of two symphonies (Italy and USA) and had its text illustrated by the famous French artist Moebius (author of the sceneries for he Fifth Element and Alien).

His work has been translated in 67 languages and edited in more than 150 countries.




Juli 2013 : "Der Alchimist" von Paulo Coelho in Online-Lesekreis (August 2013)
Paulo Coelho in 1001 Books to read before you die (September 2008)


This is a short book with cool art and little motifs that are applicable to life as you think of the bow, arrow, target, and shooter. I enjoy how simple Coelho's writing is and how deep you can dive into each part.
chip1o1 | 15 other reviews | May 22, 2024 |
I wept upon completion of this story, not out of sadness but because of the sheer beauty of it! This will most certainly be a book that will stay in my heart for the rest of my days.
tootall77hc | 1,040 other reviews | May 9, 2024 |
Another paulo coelho book that uses his signature ability to simplify major themes in life while still getting his point across.
chip1o1 | 1,040 other reviews | May 1, 2024 |


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