Paulo Coelho was born in
Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

This week on One on One, meet Paulo Coelho, the best-selling author and modern philosopher, whose personal story reads like a complex and gripping novel in itself.

His experiences range from travelling the world as a hippie to being tortured as a dissident, all of which has led him to write with a deep passion that has moved hundreds of millions of readers across the globe.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, into a family who clearly did not share his enthusiasm for the arts, Coelho was pushed by his parents into studying law.

When he rebelled his father had him committed to a mental institution where he was first given electro-shock therapy when he was just 17 years old.

His interest in spirituality had him
travel the world as a hippie

Coelho also ended up in the dreaded jails of Brazil as a political activist and dissident.

His interest in spirituality led him to travel across Latin America, Europe and North Africa - travels reflected in his writing, which often features the theme of journeys and personal fulfillment.

His international best-seller, The Alchemist, inspired millions to seek their 'personal legend'.
Beyond his novels, Paulo Coelho is known as a writer of song lyrics for popular Brazilian artists, a poet, playwright and theatre director.

But there is no doubt that when Coelho writes a book, tens of millions of people eagerly rush to discover his latest inspiration.

Watch part one of this episode of One on One on YouTube

Watch part two of this episode of One on One on YouTube


This episode of One on One aired on Saturday, April 26, 2008