Who is Paulo Coelho: all about the Portuguese author


Known for writing great works such as “The Alchemist”, Paul Coehlo is considered the greatest author of Portuguese texts. Let’s discover its history and the path that led it to fame.

Who is Paulo Coehlo

Paulo Coelho de Souza (Rio de Janeiro, 24 August 1947) is a Brazilian writer.

He grew up in a middle-class family in the well-known neighborhood of Botafogo where he developed one from an early age passion for art. He attended the Jesuit School of San Ferdinando where, despite the strict rules, he was able to discover his own talent for writing. In fact, in recent years he wins a poetry contest, but this does not prevent him from clashing with his parents.

Despite this remarkable achievement, he is often recalled by his family for his unruly character and at one point even admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

In fact, the parents argue that his personality is the fruit of one mental disease and so, between 1965 and 1966 he lives in an institution where he also undergoes numerous electric shocks. Once discharged, he began his studies in economics at the behest of his father, but soon abandoned them for travel around the world immersing himself in what was the nascent hippie culture.

Paulo Coehlo’s debut

During his life, the meeting with the poet and singer Raul Seixas is fundamental, introducing him to the world of magical arts. He begins to believe in the existence of an elixir of life thanks to his studies in alchemy which, however, prove to be not very fruitful over time. It also fits into the Alternative Society, engaged in the study of black magic, also publishing some works. In Brazil, however, this practice immediately leads him to be arrested and tortured even for several days by the military.

This difficult experience led him to move to London with his wife and then return a year later with a job in a record company. He separated in 1978 and shortly after he met his second love: Christina Oiticica. To further disrupt his life is a new meeting, the one with a spiritual master which brings him back to the Catholic creed. He is part of a group called “RAM” which he talks about in the book “The Way to Santiago”, written after having undertaken the well-known pilgrimage.

Works by Paulo Coehlo

Of his literary production, some works deserve special mention. The first is the aforementioned “The Camino de Santiago”, published in 1987 in which the theme of the individual journey begins to be presented again later in “The alchemist”. The latter was not immediately successful, but in 1990 it exploded and became the best-selling book in Portuguese.

Later he publishes “The Supreme Gift” and “The Warrior of Light’s Handbook” which serves as collection of thoughts previously processed. He then realizes “On the bank of the Piedra river I sat and cried” followed by “Veronika decides to die” and “The devil and Miss Prym”, a trilogy that tells the life of three ordinary people and their reflections on the future and numerous life themes. With the advent of the new millennium its production continues with great success and the author also gets numerous awards.

READ ALSO: Who was Emilio Salgari: life of the Italian writer

READ ALSO: Who was Percy Shelley: history of the British poet

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top