Paulo Coelho

Brazilian author Paulo Coelho is considered one of the most influential authors of our time. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, he soon discovered his vocation for writing. He worked as a director, theater actor, songwriter and journalist. His collaboration with Brazilian composer and singer Raúl Seixas gave some of the greatest classic rock songs in Brazil.

In 1986, a special meeting led him to make the pilgrimage to Saint James Compostela (in Spain). The Road to Santiago was not only a common pilgrimage but a turning point in his existence. A year later, he wrote 'The Pilgrimage', an autobiographical novel that is considered the beginning of his career.

In 1988, Coelho published 'The Alchemist'.  Originally written in Portuguese, 'The Alchemist' went on to became an international bestseller. It has sold more than 150 million copies in 70 different languages, becoming one of the best-selling books in history and setting the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author. An allegorical novel, 'The Alchemist' follows a young Andalusian shepherd in his journey to Egypt after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there.

Since the publication of The Alchemist, Coelho has generally written one novel every two years. While trying to overcome his procrastination of launching his writing career, Coelho said, "If I see a white feather today, that is a sign that God is giving me that I have to write a new book." Coelho found a white feather in the window of a shop, and began writing that day.