Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Author: Paulo Coelho

What, in your opinion, is the secret of the great success of The Alchemist?

The absence of secrets. It is a book that I wrote to my soul alone. When I wrote The Alchemist, I was trying to understand my own life, and the only way that I could do it was through a metaphor. Then, the book – with no support of the press, because the media normally refuses to publish anything about an unknown writer – made its way to the readers, and the readers start to discover that we share the same questions. Little by little, the book started to travel abroad, and today is one of the bestseller books of all times. But this success came slowly, based on a word-of-mouth promotion, and this gives me the sensation, the wonderful sensation that I am not alone. Of course, by being a well-known author, I never feel myself as a strange in a strange land, and I am pleased with the idea that several persons, all over the world, share a kind of very modern perspective of life.

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