Hispanic Heritage Month began September 15th and runs to October 15th, and I want to talk about Paulo Coelho, an author who has been hugley important in paving the way for many Latinx authors.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was raised in a strict Catholic household, however his Coelho’s introverted nature and rejection of tradition led to his being committed by his parents to a mental institution at age seventeen, from which he escaped three times. He was released at age twenty. Having gone through a lot, Coelho says he has no hard feelings towards his parents, in an interview with The Telegraph, he said:
I have forgiven, It happens with love, all the time – when you have this love towards someone else, but you want this person to change, to be like you. And then love can be very destructive.
Image via Inspiring quotes
Abiding by his parents wishes and going to law school, Coelho dropped out after a year and traveled in Africa, Europe and around South America. Once he returned he became a lyricst for well known Brazilian artists Rita Lee and Raul Seixas. He was even arrested for his politically controversial lyrics!
He then went to Spain where he went through a spiritual awakening and wrote The Pilgrimage. The following year he wrote The Alchemist, which was published by a small publishing house Brazil, and the first printing ran 900 copies. Coelho then decided to take his book to a bigger publishing house and HarperCollins published it in 1994, after which it became an international bestseller. Selling well over 135 million copies worldwide, it has been translated into over eighty different languages. Coelho reminds people to live life to its fullest. You can’t be a successful writer of you don’t take risks!
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Paulo Coelho has a blog that he writes three times a week and is also very responsive to fans through media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. His new book Hippie is out and can be purchased in a book store near you!
When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paulo Coehlo
Feature Image via Bulace Magazine