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It begins with a glimpse or a passing thought. It ends in obsession.
One day a renowned author discovers that his wife, a war correspondent, has disappeared leaving no trace. Though time brings more success and new love, he remains mystified – and increasingly fascinated – by her absence. Was she kidnapped, blackmailed, or simply bored with their marriage? The unrest she causes is as strong as the attraction she exerts.
His search for her – and for the truth of his own life – takes him from France to Spain, Croatia and, eventually, the bleakly beautiful landscape of Central Asia. More than that, it takes him from the safety of his world to a totally unknown path, searching for a new understanding of the nature of love and the power of destiny.
With ‘The Zahir’, Paulo Coelho demonstrates his powerful and captivating storytelling.
'Coelho's writing is beautifully poetic but his message is what counts… he gives me hope and puts a smile on my face.' DAILY EXPRESS
'His books have had a life-enhancing impact on millions of people.' TIMES
'One of the few to deserve the term "Publishing Phenomenon".' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
'Coelho's talent to inspire his readers with wisdom and hope … is as strong as ever. There is a forgiving kindness and humanity that is unmistakeable and tremendously appealing.’ DAILY MAIL
‘It's like music, really, the way he writes, it's so beautiful. It's a gift that I envy above all others.’ JULIA ROBERTS
About the author
Paulo Coelho is the author of The Alchemist, he was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Being the author of 30 books that have sold over 320 million copies in 170 countries, he has become one of the most widely read authors in the world today. Paulo Coelho has been a United Nations Messenger of Peace since 2007 and this has allowed him to continue to promote intercultural dialogue and to focus on the needs of children. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and the recipient of over 115 awards and honours, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Grinzane Cavour Book Award and the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur, to name a few.
Other titles include: The Pilgrimage, Brida, The Valkyries, The Fifth Mountain, Manual of the Warrior of Light, Veronika Decides to Die, The Devil and Miss Prym, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, Like the Flowing River, The Witch of Portobello, The Winner Stands Alone, Aleph.
The press chat cites 65 million copies of Coelho's eight previous novels in print, making the Brazilian author one of the world's bestselling novelists (150 countries and 56 languages). This book, whose title means "the present" or "unable to go unnoticed" in Arabic, has an initial staggered laydown of eight million copies in 83 countries and 42 languages. It centers on the narrator's search for his missing wife, Esther, a journalist who fled Iraq in the runup to the present war, only to disappear from Paris; the narrator, a writer, is freed from suspicion when his lover, Marie, comes forward with a (true) alibi. He seeks out Mikhail, the man who may be Esther's most recent lover and with whom she was last seen, who has abandoned his native Kazakhstan for a kind of speaking tour on love. Mikhail introduces the narrator to a global underground "tribe" of spiritual seekers who resist, somewhat vaguely, conventional ways of living. Through the narrator's journey from Paris to Kazakhstan, Coelho explores various meanings of love and life, but the impact of these lessons is diminished significantly as they are repeated in various forms by various characters. Then again, 65 million readers can't be wrong; the spare, propulsive style that drove The Alchemist, Eleven Minutes and Coelho's other books will easily carry fans through myriad iterations of the ways and means of amor.