Paulo Coelho - The Alchemist


Paulo Coelho was born on August 24, 1947, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is an internationally recognized lyricist and author of the Global Smash hit, The Alchemist.

At 17, Coelho's parents committed him to a mental institution from which he escaped three times before being released at the age of 20. The reason being they did not want him to be a writer. In 1974, by his account, he was arrested by the Brazilian Junta for "subversive" activities.

Coelho's Bibliography

Paulo Coelho has written over 30 novels since 1974. His popular work includes: The Pilgrimage (1987) The Alchemist (1988) The Devil and Miss Prym (2000) The Zahir (2005)

The Alchemist

was originally printed in Brazil with a small print run of just 900 books and no plans to reprint further copies.  It only took off after his following novel, Brida, was published in 1990, which led to The Alchemist being reprinted in 1994. It is estimated that The Alchemist has sold over 150 million copies so far and Paulo Coelho has sold over 320 million books in total.

it is an allegorical novel that tells the tale of a poor shepherd boy who leaves Spain to travel to the Egyptian pyramids to find his fortune. It is a simple lyrical tale, well told that we can hold up as a mirror to ourselves. The twist is in the allegory and what really is treasure and finding our own peace with ourselves. For all its simplicity it is a profound book that is able to reach within us, and make us reflect on the value of our own lives and that 'the grass is not always greener' elsewhere.

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