Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Guardian interview

Author: Paulo Coelho

Some people see you as a guru. Do you accept that?

Of course not.

Is it flattering?

No. It’s totally out of reality.

Are you a political writer?

Everybody is a political person, whether you say something or you are silent. A political attitude is not whether you go to parliament, it’s how you deal with your life, with your surroundings. I am at least giving the readers the sense they are not alone. But instead of trying to answer the question, “What is the meaning of life?” I try to give some meaning to my life.

When you were 17 your parents had you committed to an asylum.

Yes, three times, and also I was in jail three times, but I never saw myself as a victim. This is part of my journey. My parents wanted me to follow their dreams, not my dreams, and the simple fact that I didn’t accept that does not make me a criminal or an outcast. I thought, “One day I will write about it,” and I did. I wrote Veronica Decides to Die, and the book was about this: accept your differences and this is how you make a difference.

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