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Paulo Coelho

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Author Topic: Paulo Coelho  (Read 37 times)

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« on: February 06, 2009, 10:16:12 pm »

The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. 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 74 countries, and so far has sold 35 million copies. This book also brought the author in 2008 the Guiness World Record for most translated book in the world (67 languages).

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.


    * Messenger of Peace for the UN
    * Ambassador of European Union for Intercultural Dialogue for the year of 2008
    * Member of the Board of the Shimon Peres Institute for Peace
    * UNESCO special counsellor for “Intercultural Dialogues and Spiritual Convergences”
    * Board Member of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
    * Member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters
    * Member of the Board, Doha Center of Media Freedom
    * Member of INI International Advisory Council - HARVARD INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATION INICIATIVE

Major prizes and decorations

    * Elle - Best International Writer Spain 2008
    * Inauguration of the Rúa Paulo Coelho - Santiago de Compostela Spain 23/06/2008
    * Distinction of Honour from the City of Odense (Hans Christian Andersen Award) (Denmark 2007)
    * Las Pergolas Prize 2006 by the Association of Mexican Booksellers (ALMAC) (Mexico 2006)
    * "I Premio Álava en el Corazón" (Spain 2006)
    * "Cruz do Mérito do Empreendedor Juscelino Kubitschek" (Brazil 2006)
    * “Wilbur Award”, presented by the Religion Communicators Council (USA 2006)
    * Kiklop Literary Award for The Zahir in the category "Hit of the Year" (Croatia 2006)
    * DirectGroup International Author Award (Germany 2005)
    * "Goldene Feder Award" (Germany 2005)
    * "The Budapest Prize" (Hungary 2005)
    * "Order of Honour of Ukraine" (Ukraine 2004)
    * "Order of St. Sophia" for contribution to revival of science and culture (Ukraine 2004)
    * "Nielsen Gold Book Award" for The Alchemist (UK 2004)
    * "Ex Libris Award" for Eleven Minutes (Serbia 2004)
    * Golden Bestseller Prize from the largest circulation daily "Večernje Novosti" (Serbia 2004)
    * "Best Fiction Corine International Award 2002" for The Alchemist (Germany 2002)
    * "Club of Budapest Planetary Arts Award 2002" as a recognition of his literary work (Germany 2002)
    * "Bambi 2001 Award" (Germany 2001)
    * "XXIII Premio Internazionale Fregene" (Italy 2001)
    * "Crystal Mirror Award" (Poland 2000)
    * "Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur" (France 1999)
    * "Crystal Award" World Economic Forum (1999)
    * "Golden Medal of Galicia" (Spain 1999)
    * Finalist for the "International IMPAC Literary Award" (Ireland 1997 and 2000)
    * "Comendador de Ordem do Rio Branco" (Brazil 1998)
    * "Golden Book" (Yugoslavia 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2004)
    * "Super Grinzane Cavour Book Award" (Italy 1996)
    * "Flaiano International Award" (Italy 1996)
    * "Knight of Arts and Letters" (France 1996)
    * "Grand Prix Litteraire Elle" (France 1995)


PAULO COELHO entered he Guinness Book of Records as the author that signed more books in different editions (October 9th 2003, at the Frankfurt Book Fair). In October 2008, he entered for the second time in the Guiness Book of Records with his book The Alchemist – the most translated book in the world.

A Norwegian community, Arendal, gave copies of The Alchemist to all its civil servants, as a way of stimulating a new type of thought.

Many MBA courses, such as the one from The Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago recommends the reading of The Alchemist to its students. This book has equally been adopted in schools in France, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Taiwan, USA, Spain, etc.

The illustrated edition of The Alchemist, made by the artist Moebius, has already been released in many countries.

The book The Alchemist has been adopted in schools in more than 30 countries, offering special editions to students.

PAULO COELHO has managed to have three titles at the same time in bestselling lists in France, Brazil, Poland, Switzerland, Argentina, Greece, Croatia, and Russia.

The pope John Paulo II welcomed the author in the Vatican in 1998.

The World Economic Forum gave its most important prize to the author, the Crystal Award.

Coelho has a weekly column in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo and in several other newspapers around the globe.

In March 2000, the French government gave to the author its most prestigious title "Chevalier de L'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur"

IN January 2001, Paulo Coelho became member of the board in the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. This foundation favours social projects.

The life of PAULO COELHO has already been the theme of documentaries for the Irish TV (Seven Days - a Journey with Paulo Coelho), Japanese (The road of Kumano in February, The Road of Santiago in September), People & Arts Channel ( Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist of Word), A&E Mundo, TV Prima, amongst others.

Paulo Coelho has now his own drink: chocolate chaud with orange. It is a special homage paid to him by the Hotel Le Bristol's bar in Paris, which is a setting for some of the passages of his most recent novel The Zahir.

During the months of March, April, May and June 2006, Paulo Coelho travelled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella in 1986. He also held surprise book signings - announced one day in advance - in some cities along the way, to have a chance to meet his readers. In ninety days of pilgrimage the author travelled around the globe and took the famous Transiberrian train that took him to Vladivostok. During this experience Paulo Coelho launched his blog Walking the Path - The Pilgrimage in order to share with his readers his impressions.

Since this first blog Paulo Coelho has expanded his presence in the internet with his daily blogs in Wordpress, Myspace & Facebook. He is equally present in media sharing sites such as Youtube and Picasa, offering on a regular basis not only texts but also videos and pictures to his readers.

From this intensive interest and use of the Internet sprang his bold new project: The Experimental Witch where he invites his readers to adapt to the screen his book The Witch of Portobello. This film will be launched in 2009.

Indeed Paulo Coelho is a firm believer of Internet as a new media and is the first Best-selling author to actively support online free distribution of his work. His efforts in the digital realm inspired renowned blogger Jeff Jarvis to label him "the Googliest author I know" - high praise from a journalism professor who is writing a book about Google.

In October 2008, Paulo Coelho was invited to open the Frankfurt Book Fair and made a seminal speech about Internet's Impact on Culture.
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