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In 1970, after deciding that law school was not for him, he traveled through much of South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe. Returning to Brazil after two years, he began a successful career as popular songwriter. In 1974, he was imprisoned for a short time by the military dictatorship then ruling in Brazil. In 1980, he experienced one of the defining moments of his life: he walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. On this ancient highway, used for centuries by pilgrims from France to get to the cathedral said to house the remains of St. James, he achieved a self-awareness and a spiritual awakening that he later described in The Pilgrimage.
Paulo Coelho once said that following your dream is like learning a foreign language; you will make mistakes but you will get there in the end. In 1988, he published The Alchemist, a novel that explores this theme, and it launched him as an international bestselling author. Specifically, Paulo Coelho is recognized for his powerful storytelling technique and the profound spiritual insights he blends seamlessly into his parables. Since then, The Alchemist has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and has been translated into some 41 languages. In addition to The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho has written luminous novels about the different streams of our lives, including By The River Piedra I Sat Down & Wept, The Valkyries, The Fifth Mountain, and Veronika Decides to Die. A winner of numerous literary prizes, Paulo Coelho is also a prominent speaker for humanitarian causes. In 1999, he received a Crystal Award for Artistic Achievement at the Davos Economic Forum Conference.
Paulo Coelho naci#243; en Brasil y es uno de los autores m#225;s le#237;dos internacionalmente. El Alquimista, su libro m#225;s famoso, ha vendido mas de 35 millones de copias en todo el mundo y ha sido traducido a cincuenta y cuatro idiomas. Ha recibido destacados premios y menciones internacionales como el Planetary Arts Award, el Crystal Award concedido por el foro Econ#243;mico Mundial y la prestigiosa distinci#243;n Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Legi#243;n d'Honneur del gobierno franc#233;s. Coelho escribe una columna semanal sindicada en el mundo entero. Actualmente, vive en Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
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