Paulo Coelho Biography

Paulo Coelho was born on August 24, 1947, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Paulo was a rebellious teenager, and his parents had to send him to an asylum thrice. He had decided to be a writer but was discouraged by his parents because they did not see any career in it. Speaking about his parents’ action to send him to an asylum, Coelho said, “ I have forgiven. It happens with love, all the time – when you have this love towards someone else, but you want this person to change, to be like you. And then love can be very destructive.

Coelho, later on, joined a law school, but he dropped out of it soon to pursue the hippie life of sex and drugs in the 70s. He was sent to jail thrice because of writing song lyrics for music band protesting country’s military rule.

On a visit to Spain in 1986, Coelho walked around 500 miles for a Catholic pilgrimage and later on documented his experience in the form of his first book The Pilgrimage.

In 1987, he wrote the book The Alchemist. The book has sold more than 35 million copies and became one of the most popular books of recent times. The success of The Alchemist led to a new book every two years. So far the Brazillian has written 26 books and has sold over 60 million copies. He once said, “When I write a book I write a book for myself; the reaction is up to the reader. It’s not my business whether people like or dislike it.
Coelho has been married to his wife, Christina Oiticica, since 1980.

The couple lives at their Rio home and spends some months a year in a country house in the mountains of France.

“Borges said there are only four stories to tell: a love story between two people, a love story between three people, the struggle for power and the voyage. All of us writers rewrite these same stories ad infinitum.”