Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Author: Paulo Coelho

In Veronica Decides to Die, you have portrayed a young girl who tries to commit suicide…
No, it’s not a book about suicide. It is about the necessity to accept our differences, instead of trying to fulfill other people’s destiny (like the destiny that our parents choose for us, for example). When, as a young man, I insisted on being a writer, my family sent me to a mental institution””not only once, but three times. Veronica is based on this experience. We must stop following the ‘Manual of Good Behavior’, this non-written book that guides our life, and dare a little bit more. Veronica is bored, because she realizes that today is the same as yesterday, and it will be the same tomorrow.
By the way, talking about my experience in the asylum: there are some battles that kill you, and some that make you stronger. For me, it was the latter. I never saw myself as a victim of circumstances, but as an adventurer who must, from time to time, cross troubled waters.

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