'We are all pilgrims in search of the unknown.' -- Paulo Coelho
'Omens are an alphabet you develop to talk to the world's soul.' -- Paulo Coelho
'Yes, I am a magus, but so is everyone who knows how to read the hidden language of things in pursuit of their personal destiny.' -- Paulo Coelho
Subtitled Confessions of a Pilgrim, Paulo Coelho by Juan Arias is the result of a series of interviews Juan Arias had with Paulo Coelho, the closest we get to a biography.
It is very rare for anyone to be able to interview Paulo Coelho, and it is an honour to be able to do so, or what Juan Arias calls a series of informal conversations.
These 'informal conversations' took place in the apartment belonging to Paulo Coelho in Rio overlooking Copacabana beach July 1998, during the middle of the World Cup in France. The conversation took place mainly during the day, but some took place at night.
Other people were invited along. Juan Arias describes one such occasion when three Spanish girls who he met on the flight to Rio, to their great surprise, were told who they were going to meet. Asked what they had been reading on the flight from Madrid to Rio, each had been reading a different book by Paulo Coelho. A lovely example of synchronicity. All the more appropriate therefore, that the first chapter deals with omens, what Paulo Coelho calls the alphabet you develop to talk to the soul of the world.
Paulo Coelho has written two biographical books, The Pilgrimage and The Valkyries, the others are what he calls 'fictionalised experiences'. Conversations with Juan Arias are the closest we have to an authorised biography.
Essential reading for anyone who has read books by Paulo Coelho and wishes to know a little bit more about the man himself, or in my case, to see if what I had surmised from his writings came close to reality.
Juan Arias is a Spanish journalist working for El Pais. He first met Paulo Coelho in Madrid during the book launch of The Fifth Mountain.
The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5745345
Manual of the Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5745341]
The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5763358]
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5633652]
Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho [see BCID 5476539]