« Paulo Coelho knows the secret of literary alchemy, » said Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Prize for Literature. The Alchemist, the story of a spiritual quest, has confirmed the Brazilian author as a major figure in contemporary literature. A rebel before rebels had been invented, a hippy and a propagandist who was imprisoned and tortured under Brazil’s military dictatorship, he found his vocation while a teenager, but only decided to write his first book, The pilgrimage, after walking from France to Galicia (Santiago de Compostela) in 1986. So began an adventure that would grow into a worldwide phenomenon. Paulo Coelho, whose first work had a print run of 900, has sold almost 43 million books in 140 countries.
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