Paulo Coelho (Rio de Janeiro, 1947) prior to his career as a best-selling author, was a playwright, theatre director, hippie, and popular songwriter for some of Brazil’s most famous pop music stars, including Elis Regina and Raul Seixas. Shortly after, he worked as a journalist and as a television playwright.
In 1986 Paulo Coelho walked along the Road of Santiago, an ancient Spanish pilgrimage. He would later describe this experience in The Pilgrimage, published in 1987. The following year, with his second book The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho has become one of the most widely read contemporary authors, an authentic publishing phenomenon number 1 best seller in 29 countries. According to the international magazine "Publishing Trends", The Alchemist has been one of the top ten international bestsellers of 1998.
Other titles include Brida (1990), The Valkyries (1992), Maktub (1994), a compilation of his daily column and By The River Piedra I Sat Down & Wept (1994), The Fifth Mountain (1996), was published worldwide with a great success, and The Manual of the Warrior of Light (1997). His most recent book Veronika decides to die (1998) is a novel about madness, which is making bestseller lists worldwide presently.
His work has been published in more than 120 countries and is translated into 45 languages. He has sold more than twenty-seven million books and he is the second bestseller author worldwide in 1998, according to the French magazine "Lire" (March 1999). Winning prestigious awards from a variety of countries. The critics have specially praised his poetic, realistic and philosophical style, and "the symbolic language that does not speak to our brains, but to our hearts". His storytelling has the power to inspire nations.
Paulo Coelho is Special Advisor to the UNESCO programme "Spiritual Convergences and Intercultural Dialogues".
Major prizes and decorations