Ein geheimnisvoller Fremder stört eines Tages den Frieden von Bescos, einem gottverlassenen 281-Seelen-Dorf hoch oben in den Pyrenäen. Mit sich führt er elf Goldbarren und einen merkwürdigen Schatten, in dem die greise Berthe, die Tag für Tag vor ihrem Haus am Dorfeingang sitzt, sofort den lange angekündigten Dämon erkennt, der Bescos in den Untergang treiben wird. Ähnlich wie in Friedrich Dürrenmatts weltberühmtem Stück >Der Besuch der alten Dame< (das Coelho zu der Grundidee seines neuen Romans inspiriert...
Ein geheimnisvoller Fremder stört eines Tages den Frieden von Bescos, einem gottverlassenen 281-Seelen-Dorf hoch oben in den Pyrenäen. Mit sich führt er elf Goldbarren und einen merkwürdigen Schatten, in dem die greise Berthe, die Tag für Tag vor ihrem Haus am Dorfeingang sitzt, sofort den lange angekündigten Dämon erkennt, der Bescos in den Untergang treiben wird. Ähnlich wie in Friedrich Dürrenmatts weltberühmtem Stück >Der Besuch der alten Dame< (das Coelho zu der Grundidee seines neuen Romans inspiriert hat) macht der Fremde der hübschen Chantal ein verführerisches Angebot und verlangt als Bedingung im Gegenzug eine grausige Tat: Mord. Chantal muss sich entscheiden, ob sie sich der Herausforderung des Fremden stellen und den Kampf um ihr Glück - zu ihren Bedingungen - wagen will. In >Der Dämon und Fräulein Prym< geht es um Coelhos grose Themen: Verlust, Angst und den mutigen Umgang mit sich selbst. Und was ein einzelner Mensch vermag, wenn er nur die Chance bekommt, sich zu ändern, etwas zu riskieren und ein besserer Mensch zu werden. Mit diesem Roman schliest Coelho seine Trilogie über Liebe (>Am Ufer des Rio Piedra sas ich und weinte<), Tod (>Veronika beschliest zu sterben<) und Macht (>Der Dämon und Fräulein Prym<) ab - drei grose Antriebskräfte, die das Leben dreier Frauen in nur sieben Tagen grundlegend verändern.
Brazilian author Paulo Coelho broke sacred ground -- and crossed over into worldwide fame as an author -- with his symbolic masterpiece, The Alchemist. Since then, Coelho has dedicated his work to the ideal of helping people to follow their wildest dreams.
His books have been translated into 56 languages, topped bestseller lists throughout the world, and scored him such celebrity fans as Julia Roberts, Bill Clinton, and Madonna; yet for Brazilian publishing phenom Paulo Colho, the road to success has been strewn with a number of obstacles, many of them rooted in his troubled past.
As a youth, Coelho was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, a professional engineer. When he rebelled, expressing his intentions to become a writer, his parents had him committed to a psychiatric hospital where he was subjected to electro-shock therapy. He left home to join the 1970s countercultural revolution, experimenting with drugs, dabbling in black magic, and getting involved in Brazil's bohemian art and music scene. He teamed with rock musician Raul Seixas for an extremely successful songwriting partnership that changed the face of Brazilian pop -- and put a lot of money in Coelho's pockets. He also joined an anti-capitalist organization called the Alternative Society which attracted the attention of Brazil's military dictatorship. Marked down as a subversive, he was imprisoned and tortured.
Amazingly, Coelho survived these horrific experiences. He left the hippie lifestyle behind, went to work in the record industry, and began to write, but without much success. Then, in the mid-1980s, during a trip to Europe, he met a man, an unnamed mentor he refers to only as "J," who inducted him into Regnum Agnus Mundi, a secret society that blends Catholicism with a sort of New Age mysticism. At J's urging, Coelho journeyed across el Camino de Santiago, the legendary Spanish road traversed by pilgrims since the Middle Ages. He chronicled this life-changing, 500-mile journey -- the culmination of decades of soul-searching -- in The Pilgrimage, published in 1987.
The following year, Coelho wrote The Alchemist, the inspirational fable for which he is best known. The first edition sold so poorly the publisher decided not to reprint it. Undaunted, Coelho moved to a larger publishing house that seemed more interested in his work. When his third novel (1990's Brida) proved successful, the resulting media buzz carried The Alchemist all the way to the top of the charts. Released in the U.S. by HarperCollins in 1993, The Alchemist became a word-of-mouth sensation, turning Coelho into a cult hero.
Since then, he has gone on to create his own distinct literary brand -- an amalgam of allegory and self-help filled with spiritual themes and symbols. In his novels, memoirs, and aphoristic nonfiction, he returns time and again to the concepts of quest and transformation and has often said that writing has helped connect him to his soul. While his books have not always been reviewed favorably and have often become the subject of strong cultural and philosophical debate, there is no doubt that this self-described "pilgrim writer" has struck a chord in readers everywhere. In the 2009 edition of the Guiness Book of World Records, Coelho was named the most translated living author -- with William Shakespeare the most translated of all time!
Good To Know
Few writers are able to accomplish what Coelho can in just two to four weeks -- which is how long it takes for him to write an entire novel.
Before become a bestselling novelist, Coelho was a writer of a different sort. He co-wrote more than 60 songs with Brazilian musician Raul Seixas.
Coelho is the founder of the Paulo Coelho Institute, a non-profit organization funded by his royalties that raises money for underprivileged children and the elderly in his homeland of Brazil.
In our interview with Coelho, he shared some fascinating facts about himself:
"I have been practicing archery for a long time; a bow and arrow helps me to unwind."
"In writing, I apply my feminine side and respect the mystery involved in creation."
"I love almost everything about my work,except conferences. I am too shy in front of an audience. But I love signings and having eye contact with a reader who already knows my soul."