Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

If you want to learn about yourself, start by exploring the world around you.

Drawing on the rich experience of his own life, Paulo Coelho takes us back in time to relive the dreams of a generation that longed for peace and dared to challenge the established social order. In Hippie, he tells the story of Paulo, a young, skinny Brazilian man with a goatee and long, flowing hair, who wants to become a writer and sets off on a journey in search of a deeper meaning for his life.

Paulos travels take him from South America to the famous Dam Square in Amsterdam filled with young people wearing vibrant clothes and burning incense, meditating and playing music, while discussing sexual liberation, the expansion of consciousness, and the search for an inner truth.   

There he meets Karla, a Dutch woman in her twenties who has been waiting to find the ideal companion to accompany her on the fabled hippie trail to Nepal. She convinces Paulo to join her on a trip aboard the Magic Bus that travels across Europe and Central Asia to Kathmandu. They embark on the journey in the company of fascinating fellow travelers, each of whom has a story to tell, and each of whom will undergo a personal transformation, changing their priorities and values along the way. As they travel together, Paulo and Karla explore their own relationship: a life-defining love story that awakens them on every level and leads to choices and decisions that will set the course for their lives thereafter.

In “The Spy”, Paulo Coelho brings to life one of history’s most enigmatic women: Mata Hari. 

Her only crime was to be an independent woman

When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless.  Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city. 

 As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men. 

But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of espionage.

Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price.

I want to change. I need to change. I’m gradually losing touch with myself. 

Adultery explores the question of what it means to live life fully and happily, finding the balance between life’s routine and the desire for something new. 

In this deeply thoughtful novel, Paulo Coelho reveals that the great wisdom of life is that we can be masters of the things that try to enslave us.

1099. Jerusalem awaits the invasion of the crusaders who have surrounded the city’s gates. There, inside the ancient city’s walls, women and men of every age and faith have gathered to hear the wisdom of a mysterious man known only as the Copt.  

As the wise man speaks of loyalty, fear, bravery and solitude, of love, sex, beauty and elegance, his words offer truth and guidance, and reveal the human values that have endured throughout time – then as now, his words reveal who we are, what we fear and what we hope for the future.

 

 

Stories are one of the oldest ways we have of passing on knowledge. They are literature at its purest and can be cheerful, funny, tragic or dramatic. 

Stories for Parents, Children and Grandchildren is an anthology divided into two independent volumes, which can be shared from generation to generation, encouraging us to reflect on each and every stage of our lives.

Wherever possible, Paulo has given the source of the stories, but most belong to the secret archives of the human heart.

So, let us go for a stroll through the traditions and legends of the world, drawn in by the power of the four magic words we heard as children and have never forgotten: Once upon a time …

Illustrations by Christina Oiticica

 

Transform your life. Rewrite your destiny.

In Aleph, a very personal novel, Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, his only real option is to begin again – to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him.

Setting off to Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian railroad, he initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. Even so, he never expects to meet Hilal. A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved five hundred years before – and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome lifes inevitable challenges. Beautiful and inspiring, Aleph invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys.

The Winner Stands Alone is a suspenseful novel about the fascinating worlds of fortune and celebrity, where the commitment to luxury and success at any cost often prevents one from hearing what the heart actually desires.

Coelho takes us to the Cannes Film Festival, where the so-called Superclass gathers‹those who have made it in the dreammakers world of fashion and cinema. Some of them have even reached the very top and are afraid to lose their lofty positions. Money, power, and fame are at stake‹things for which most people are prepared to do anything to keep.

At this modern vanity fair we meet Igor, a Russian millionaire; Middle Eastern fashion czar Hamid; American actress Gabriela, eager to land a lead role; ambitious criminal detective Savoy, hoping to resolve the case of his life; and Jasmine, a woman on the brink of a successful modeling career.

Who will succeed in identifying his or her own personal dream among the many prefabricated ones – and succeed in making it come true?

How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves – even if we are unsure of who we are? This is the central question of The Witch of Portobello. It is the story of a mysterious woman named Athena, told by the many who knew her well – or hardly at all. The Witch of Portobello is the kind of story that will transform the way readers think about love, passion, joy, and sacrifice.

In this riveting collection of thoughts and stories, Paulo Coelho offers his personal reflections on a wide range of subjects from archery and music to elegance, traveling and the nature of good and evil.

An old woman explains to her grandson how a mere pencil can show him the path to happiness…. instructions on how to climb a mountain reveal the secret to making your dreams a reality… the story of Ghengis Khan and the Falcon that teaches about the folly of anger – and the art of friendship… a pianist who performs an example in fulfilling your destiny… the author learns three important lessons when he goes to the rescue of a man in the street – Paulo shows us how life has lessons for us in the greatest, smallest and most unusual of experiences.

`Like the Flowing River’ includes jewel-like fables, packed with meaning and retold in Coelho’s inimitable style. Sharing his thoughts on spirituality, life and ethics, Paulo touches you with his philosophy and invites you to go on an exciting journey of your own.

A collection of selected quotes from Paulo Coelho’s impressive body of work.

A beautiful book with four-colour artwork by the renowned Norwegian artist Anne Kristin Hagesaether, it contains inspirational quotes from such beloved Coelho titles as Eleven Minutes, The Valkyries, The Devil And Miss Prym, The Zahir, and the mega bestseller The Alchemist. 

The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who has disappeared along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover.

Was Esther kidnapped, murdered, or did she simply escape a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesnt have any answers, but he has plenty of questions of his own. Then one day Mikhail finds the narrator and promises to reunite him with his wife. In his attempt to recapture a lost love, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself.

Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. . . .  A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune.

Maria’s despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness – sexual pleasure for its own sake – or risking everything to find her own “inner light” and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.

The Devil and Miss Prym is set in a small village and tells about a young, poor barmaid whose wager with the devil leads to a spiritual transformation.

A stranger arrives at the remote village of Viscos, carrying with him a backpack containing a notebook and eleven gold bars. He comes searching for the answer to a question that torments him: Are human beings, in essence, good or evil? In welcoming the mysterious foreigner, the whole village becomes an accomplice to his sophisticated plot, which will forever mark their lives.

A novel of temptation, The Devil and Miss Prym is a thought-provoking parable of a community devoured by greed, cowardice and fear – as it struggles with the choice between good and evil.

A dramatic story of love, life and death that shows us all why every second of our existence is a choice we all make between living and dying.

Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything‹youth and beauty, boyfriends and a loving family, a fulfilling job. But something is missing in her life. So, one cold November morning, she takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting never to wake up. But she does‹at a mental hospital where she is told that she has only days to live.

Inspired by events in Coelhos own life, Veronika Decides to Die questions the meaning of madness and celebrates individuals who do not fit into patterns society considers to be normal. Bold and illuminating, it is a dazzling portrait of a young woman at the crossroads of despair and liberation, and a poetic, exuberant appreciation of each day as a renewed opportunity.

The novel was adapted by Muse Productions, Das Films, and Velvet Steamroller Entertainment for the 2009 film “Veronica Decides to Die”, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jonathan Tucker, Melissa Leo, David Thewliss and Erika Christensen. It is set in New York instead of Ljubljana (Slovenia).

The great challenge lies in discovering our unique self, asking ourselves questions, and trying to search for answers. Kahlil Gibran, with his work, has helped those searching for answers and enjoying the adventure of self-discovery. However, where Kahlil Gibran’s goodness of his soul is revealed, is in his letters to Mary Haskell, the love of his life.

To discover the man behind “The Prophet“, Paulo Coelho has compiled, translated, and adapted part of this intimate correspondence.

Coelho said about the book: “Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), born in Lebanon, will be remembered for his classic “The Prophet”, which sixty years after its publication continues on the best sellers list in several countries. In 1995, a Lebanese friend gave me a book containing the love correspondence from Gibran to Mary Haskell, a woman ten years older than he. When I read it, I found a complex and fascinating man _ what encouraged me to select some of these texts for my publication Love Letters from a Prophet. Everything points to the fact, that Mary, in spite of being a great friend, has never accepted any relationship beyond a platonic love. By reading Gibran’s letters, it becomes hard to understand how she resisted!”

Brida, a young Irish girl, has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her to trust in the goodness of the world, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch.

Maktub: It is Written

Maktub I and II are a collection of stories and parables that represent a colorful treasure of wisdom. These short texts, inspired by the most diverse sources and folklore, were born of Paulo Coelho’s contribution to Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de São Paulo. Due to the success of his column, the author decided to select his favorite texts to publish for his global audience.

Also see Maktub II.

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept centers around a young couple who are reunited eleven years after their adolescent love.

Over time, Pilar has grown into a strong and independent woman. Her childhood friend (who remains nameless in the book) has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader who turned to religion to escape his inner conflicts. Reunited at last after a decade, they embark on a difficult journey as long-standing issues with blame and resentment resurface. As they head to the River Piedra in the French Pyrenees, they explore the future of their relationship and some of life’s biggest questions. Considered a spiritual parable and exploring themes of love, spirituality, and life’s hardships,

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and was acclaimed and successful upon its translation and release in the English-speaking world. It is considered one of Coelho’s best works and is widely studied as an example of classic modern Brazilian literature.

The Valkyries is written as a third-person narrative describing how Paulo and his wife embark on a 40-day journey through the Mojave Desert. There they meet the Valkyries, a group of warrior women who travel the desert on motorcycles.

At the beginning of the story, “J”, Coelho’s master in RAM (Regnus Agnus Mundi – see The Pilgrimage), shows him a copy of the poem by Wilde that says “we destroy what we love” and this theme is central to the story.

The Valkyries is a powerful story of one man’s battle with self-doubt and fear. The searing and unforgettable narrative in The Valkyries asks the questions most central to all literature – and all of humanity’s quest for understanding. Why is it that we destroy the things we love most? And how can we learn to let go of the past and believe in the future?

In the ninth century b.c., the Phoenician princess Jezebel orders the execution of all the prophets who refuse to worship the pagan god Baal. Commanded by an angel of God to flee Israel, Elijah seeks safety in the land of Zarephath, where he unexpectedly finds true love with a young widow. But this newfound rapture is to be cut short, and Elijah sees all of his hopes and dreams irrevocably erased as he is swept into a whirlwind of events that threatens his very existence.

The Fifth Mountain is a quietly moving account of a man touched by the hand of God who must triumph over his frustrations in a soul-shattering trial of faith.

Notes:

The Fifth Mountain – translated from the Portuguese by Clifford Landers, was an International IMPAC Literary Award Finalist, Ireland, 2000

Paulo Coelho’s 1991 adaptation of Henry Drummond’s sermon “The Greatest Thing in the World”.

“I thought that I had already thought about everything you could think about Love when Henry Drummond’s sermon fell into my hands. My life changed a lot from the moment I read the words in this book and tried to put his teaching into practice.”

Paulo Coelho

First published in 1987, in 150 countries and translated into 40 languages. In 2017, The Pilgrimage, one of the author’s most important books, was re-published under the “Paralela” label by Companhia das Letras. It is is one of Paulo Coelho’s highest selling books. 

The story begins in 1986 when Coelho undertakes his initiation into the order Regnus Agnus Mundi (RAM), which he subsequently fails. He is then told that he must embark on a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago to find the sword that is the symbol of his acceptance into the ranks of RAM. He must do this to gain insight into the simplicity of life. The journey transforms him as he learns to understand the nature of truth through the simplicity of life.

He begins his journey with a guide, also a member of RAM, who goes by the alias Petrus. During the journey Petrus shows him meditation exercises and introduces him to some of the more down-to-earth elements of Western mystical thought and philosophy, and teaches him about love and its forms: agape, philia and eros.

The Alchemist follows the journey of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago. Believing a recurring dream to be prophetic, he asks a Romani fortune teller in a nearby town about its meaning. The woman interprets the dream as a prophecy telling the boy that he will discover a treasure at the Egyptian pyramids.

Early into his journey, he meets an old king named Melchizedek or the king of Salem, who tells him to sell his sheep so as to travel to Egypt and introduces the idea of a Personal Legend. Your Personal Legend “is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.”

Early in his arrival to Africa a man who claims to be able to take Santiago to the pyramids instead robs him of what money he had made from selling his sheep. Santiago then embarks on a long path of working for a crystal merchant so as to make enough money to fulfil his personal legend and go to the pyramids.

Along the way, the boy meets an Englishman who has come in search of an alchemist and continues his travels in his new companion’s company. When they reach an oasis, Santiago meets and falls in love with an Arabian girl named Fatima, to whom he proposes marriage. She promises to do so only after he completes his journey. Frustrated at first, he later learns that true love will not stop nor must one sacrifice to it one’s personal destiny, since to do so robs it of truth.

The boy then encounters a wise alchemist who also teaches him to realize his true self. Together they risk a journey through the territory of warring tribes, where the boy is forced to demonstrate his oneness with “the soul of the world” by turning himself into a simoom before he is allowed to proceed. When he begins digging within sight of the pyramids, he is robbed yet again but learns accidentally from the leader of the thieves that the treasure he seeks was all the time in the ruined church where he had his original dream.


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