The Zahir: A Novel of Love, Longing and Obsession

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9780007204168: The Zahir: A Novel of Love, Longing and Obsession

The Zahir, Paulo Coelho's new novel, is a perfect follow-on to The Alchemist. Paulo picks up the theme of the pilgrimage to Santiago but tells a very different, gripping story of love, loss and passionate obsession. The protagonist of this new novel is a renowned author who writes about spirituality and once went on pilgrimage along the road to Santiago. On a return visit, he is suddenly abandoned by his wife, who leaves no trace of herself behind. As the story unfolds the author becomes obsessed with understanding the reason for her desertion. The title comes from a tale by Jorge Luis Borges, published in his book The Aleph. In Arabic Zahir means 'visible, present and unable to go unnoticed.' It refers to something or someone that ends up being the only thing we can think of. This state of 'possession' can be understood as saintliness or insanity, with a fine line between the two. The novel is also full of comments on what it is to be rich and famous, on the meaning of money, on what motivates a writer and on the nature of marriage.

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From the Back Cover:

The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who has disappeared along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover.

Was Esther kidnapped, murdered, or did she simply escape a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn’t have any answers, but he has plenty of questions of his own. Then one day Mikhail finds the narrator and promises to reunite him with his wife. In his attempt to recapture a lost love, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself.

About the Author:

Paulo Coelho's books have won numerous awards and are permanent fixtures on bestseller lists in Brazil and around the world. Other books by Paulo Coelho include The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, The Valkyries, By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, The Fifth Mountain, Veronika Decides to Die and Eleven Minutes. He and his wife Christina live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and France.

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