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Paulo Coelho was 60 years old

August 24 2007

Today, August 24, Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho is 60 years old. He had long since gained worldwide fame, his books have been translated in 66 languages, and their total circulation has exceeded 92 million copies.

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Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro on August 24, 1947 in the family of an engineer. Since childhood, he dreamed of becoming a writer. But in the 60 years in Brazil, the art was banned by the military dictatorship. While the word "artist" was synonymous with the words "gay," "communist," "addict" and "bum." Worrying about the future of her son and trying to protect him from persecution of the authorities, parents send 17 year-old Paulo in a psychiatric hospital.

After leaving the hospital, Coelho became a hippie. He reads everything indiscriminately - from Marx and Lenin to the "Bhagavad-Gita. Then founded the underground magazine "2001", which discusses issues of spirituality, the Apocalypse. In addition, Paulo wrote texts anarchist songs. He continues to look for yourself: working as a journalist in a newspaper is trying to implement the theatrical directing and dramaturgy. But soon the subjects of his poems attracted the attention of the authorities. Coelho is accused of subversive anti-government activities, for which three were arrested and tortured.

Upon release, Coelho decided it was time to settle down and become a normal person. And then he decides to go hiking. Accidental meeting in Amsterdam leads him to the Catholic Order of RAM, established in 1492, where Paulo has learned to understand the language of signs and portents come our way. According to the ritual of the way, the order directs him to a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella.

Overcoming the 80 miles of the legendary trail of pilgrims, Coelho has described this trip in his first book "The Pilgrimage, published in 1987.

Soon this was followed by a second - "The Alchemist", which brought the author international fame. "The Alchemist" is still the best-selling book in Brazilian history and even mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records.

In 2002, John Loudon wrote to Paulo: "The Alchemist" in our publishing house has become one of the most important books of recent years. We are proud of this book and its success. The story of her success with us - to match the story described in this book! "In terms of the jubilee celebrations in honor of the first publication of the publishing house HarperCollins," including the issuance of an international version of the book, designed to meet the demand of the ever-growing army of fans around the world.

In September 1993, "The Alchemist" topped the list of best sellers in Australia. "Sydney Morning Herald said:" This book of the year. A charming example of boundless grace and philosophical depth. " In April 1994, "The Alchemist" was released in France ("Anne Edison Quarry"). In the press he has received excellent reviews, and the reading public took the book with delight.

So "The Alchemist" began climbing the bestseller list. In every French list, this book was the first place, where and stayed five years. After such a phenomenal success in France of the book by Paulo Coelho no longer be a purely literary phenomenon and, with the support of Europe, began its triumphal march around the world.

Since each of the six novels, Coelho, translated into French, managed to lead the best-seller lists, holding the position for several months. Once three novels simultaneously headed the top ten.

In 1997 Coelho published his latest book - "The Textbook of the Crusader", a collection of philosophical thoughts that help us discover the warrior of light within ourselves. Millions of readers rated this book highly. It was first published in Italy (Bompiani), where an astounding success.

In the book "Veronika Decides to Die," published in 1998, Coelho returns to the narrative style. This novel received excellent reviews.

Autumn of 1998, Paulo made a tour of Asia and Eastern Europe, starting out in Istanbul, went by Orient Express, through Bulgaria and completing their way to Riga. Journal "Lear" (March 1999) announced its second of the best-selling authors in 1998 worldwide.

In 1999, Coelho was awarded the prestigious "Crystal euord. As was said at the World Economic Forum, "Paulo brought together such diverse cultural power of words, and this has earned this award." From 1998 to this day remains an honorary member Paulo International Economic Forum. In 2000 he was elected to membership in the Board of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

In September, the book "The Devil and sinorita Note" was published simultaneously in Italy, Portugal and Brazil. During the release of the first edition Paulo at his home in Rio de Janeiro gave dozens of interviews to international media. At the same time, was first publicly announced the existence of Paulo Coelho Institute, which he and his wife, Christina Oitisiey, founded in 1996.

In 2001, Pauli was awarded the Bamba, the oldest and most prestigious award in Germany. According to the jury's belief that every person is destined to become "warrior of light" in this dark world, contains a profound sense of humanism, which has gained a tragic resonance in connection with the events of the year.

July 25, 2002 Paulo Coelho was a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters (ABL). By common consent he was given a chair number 21. The purpose of this academy, whose headquarters is located in Rio de Janeiro - preservation of Brazilian culture and language. Immediately after the election Paulo has more than three thousand letters from readers and became the focus of news across the country.

In September 2002, Paul made a sensation, having gone to Russia with five of his books, which simultaneously hit the list of local bestsellers: "The Devil and sinorita Note" (number one), followed by "The Alchemist", "Book of the Warrior of Light," " Veronika Decides to Die "and" The Fifth Mountain "(published by Sophia").

In just over two weeks in Russia has sold over 250,000 copies of his books, and for the year - a total of more than one million.

Coelho is also often called a purely "commercial" writer. "The Magician - bookseller," "King bestseller" - so often referred to as Coelho among people who consider themselves experts in the field of literature. Himself a writer, apparently does not care to ascertain the relationship with the critics. He is in great demand throughout the world and most of the time on trips and meetings with foreign readers. However, waiting for him at home.

"We very much hope that he will appear in the book Biennial in Rio de Janeiro in September, but confirm anything until we can not" - said the book publisher Coelho. Such attention is easily explained.Coelho is known, it attracts the press, he - a welcome and rare visitor of any public events. Whatever belonged to Paulo Coelho is at home today, his birthday, and millions of people learned about it, remembering where he came from.

Masha Shibanova


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