Part of CNN’s Connect the World, this week we’ve picked two giants on their respective continents: Brazil and Nigeria. Here we ask novelist Paulo Coelho what he loves about Brazil.
(CNN) — One of the most widely read authors of recent times, Brazilian-born novelist Paulo Coelho talks exclusively to CNN about what Brazil means to him.
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, the best-selling author of “The Alchemist” dreamt of becoming a writer from an early age, but was stifled by his parents, who insisted he follow his father’s footsteps and become an engineer.
But only a year into his studies the adventurous young Brazilian had dropped out, and by the 1970s had made a name for himself in Brazil’s politically infused artistic movement, becoming a successful songwriter and co-creator of the controversial comic strip “Kring-ha.”
However, his messages were viewed as left-wing and dangerous: Coelho was branded a “subversive” by Brazil’s then-ruling military government and was arrested and tortured.