Paulo Coelho biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Paulo Coelho
Xavier Gonzales

Paulo Coelho

How to pronounce Paulo Coelho: POW-loo KWAY-lew

Paulo Coelho Biography

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1970, after deciding that law school was not for him, he traveled through much of South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe. Returning to Brazil after two years, he began a successful career as a popular songwriter. In 1974, he was imprisoned for a short time by the military dictatorship then ruling in Brazil.

In 1988, Coelho published The Alchemist, which has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 41 languages. He has written more than a dozen novels, including The Pilgrimage and Veronika Decides to Die, both of which are being adapted to film.

Coelho is an outspoken activist for peace and social justice, and also supports the free distribution of his work. He and his wife Christina split their time between Rio de Janeiro, and France.

Paulo Coelho's website

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Interview

Bestselling author Paulo Coelho discusses his latest book, Eleven Minutes, which explores how people relate to each other sexually.

Rio de Janeiro, March 2003
The title of Eleven Minutes is inspired by Irving Wallace's novel The Seven Minutes, published in the 70s. Wallace's bestseller deals with a long-running legal battle over the banning of a book that takes a close look at sex: in particular the seven-minute duration of the average sexual encounter. Although this censored book never existed, Paulo Coelho imagined its content and determined to write it. While Coelho abandoned his original idea, The Seven Minutes remains the inspiration for the title (modified to Eleven Minutes because Coelho found Wallace's original estimate too conservative) and the subject matter: an attempt to talk about the association and dissociation of bodily pleasures in relation to those of the heart.
After a conference in Italy in 1999, Coelho returned to his hotel to find a manuscript waiting for him. It was the story of a Brazilian prostitute, Sonia, recounting her life in Europe. The text interested him and, three years later, he was finally able to meet her in Zurich. She took him to the local red light district, Langstrasse, where his visit turned into an unusual signing session during which Coelho inscribed copies of his books for several of Sonia...

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Books by this Author

Books by Paulo Coelho at BookBrowse
Aleph jacket The Winner Stands Alone jacket Brida jacket Witch of Portobello jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Paulo Coelho but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Fredrik Backman

    Fredrik Backman

    Fredrik Backman is a Swedish author, blogger and columnist. He is the author of a work of nonfiction, Things My Son Needs to Know About Life, and a number of novels including A Man Called Ove, his first novel. Ove has sold ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Eleven Minutes

    Try:
    Beartown
    by Fredrik Backman

  • Kathryn Harrison

    Kathryn Harrison

    Kathryn Harrison is the author of the novels Envy, Enchantments, The Seal Wife, The Binding Chair, Poison, Exposure, and Thicker Than Water. She has also written the memoirs The Kiss and The Mother Knot; a travel memoir, The ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Eleven Minutes

    Try:
    Envy
    by Kathryn Harrison

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Book Discussion
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by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

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