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.
The Brazilian author Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theater director, actor, lyricist, and journalist.
Coelho wrote song lyrics for many famous performers in Brazilian music, such as Elis Regina and Rita Lee, yet he is best known for his work with Raul Seixas. Together they wrote such successes as “Eu nasci há dez mil anos atrás” (“I Was Born Ten Thousand Years Ago”), “Gita,” and “Al Capone.”
His fascination with the spiritual quest dates back to his hippie days, when he travelled the world learning about secret societies, oriental religions, etc. In 1982, Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make any kind of impact. In 1985, he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves, since he considered it “of bad quality.” In 1986, Paulo Coelho did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage.
In the following year, Coelho published The Alchemist. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the bestselling Brazilian books of all time.
Other titles include: Brida (1990), The Valkyries (1992), By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (1994), the collection of his best columns published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo entitled Maktub (1994), the compilation of texts Phrases (1995), The Fifth Mountain (1996), Manual of a Warrior of Light (1997), Veronika Decides to Die (1998), The Devil and Miss Prym (2000), a compilation of traditional tales in Stories for Parents, Children and Grandchildren (2001), Eleven Minutes (2003), The Zahir (2005), The Witch of Portobello (2006), and a compilation of texts gathered under the title Like a Flowing River (2006).
He also adapted The Gift (Henry Drummond) and Love letters of a prophet (Kalil Gibran).
The Alchemist has sold 40 Million copies worldwide in 71 langauges and Paulo has sold more than 115 million copies in more than 160 countries.read more