Paulo Coelho Biography
Paulo Coelho Biography
Paulo Coelho was born in 1947, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he was raised, and where he attended a Jesuit school. As a teenager, Paulo was introverted and somewhat rebellious, and pursued his goal to become a writer over the objection of his parents. Because of his rebelliousness, his parents had him committed to a mental institution when he was seventeen. Although he escaped three times he was not released until he was twenty years old. Paulo bears his parents no ill will for this he believes they were trying to save him from himself.
Acceding to his parents
demands, Paulo enrolled in law school. But a year later, he dropped out.
He began to explore the life of a hippie, travelling through various countries
and immersing himself in the drug culture of the 1960s.
In 1986, at age 40, Paulo walked the Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, a 500 mile distance. He experienced a spiritual awakening on this journey, which he described in his book The Pilgrimage, published in 1986.
Paulo decided to leave
his song-writing career and go back to his writing.
Paulo has published
26 books to date. Other of his titles include By the River Piedra I Sat
Down and Wept, The Fifth Mountain, Veronika Decides to Die, The Devil
and Miss Prym, Eleven Minutes, Like the Flowing River, The Valkyries and
The Witch of Portobello.
My literature is totally committed to a new political attitude: man in search of his own identity. It does not deal with the old and worn-out categories of right and left. There is a revolution that is slowly setting up, which the press doesnt seem to have detected yet. If I had to sum up the whole idea in
only one expression, Id say that the new political attitude for our era is to die alive. In other words, being aware of and participating in things until the day we diesomething that does not occur very often. People end up dying to the world on the day they renounce their dreams. After that, one departs on a journey as did Ulysses, accepting the challenges and knowing that sometimes one must fight alone, yet understanding he stands in for the entire human race.
In 1996, Paulo, the
best-selling author in the Portuguese language, founded the Paulo Coelho
Institute, in order to provide aid to children and the elderly.
In September 2007,
Paulo was named a Messenger of Peace to the United Nations