A WARRIOR'S LIFE: THE STORY OF PAULO COELHO

Over the past few years, journalist and writer Fernando Morais has scrutinized every moment of Paulo Coelho's existence to produce a detailed biography entitled A Warrior's Life, covering his life from birth until today. The 500-page work will be illustrated with pictures and documents and will be published in 2009.

The work began in early 2005, when Morais started accompanying Coelho on his trips. Together they went to Hungary, Egypt and the Czech Republic, as well as other places in Central Europe, and recorded several hours of interviews.

As the biographer reveals, during their time together, the two writers became close friends. "But I also took care to keeping a certain necessary professional distance," he admits. Such was the degree of trust between them that they agreed Coelho wouldn.t read the final draft of the biography. "Whenever Paulo asks me something, I say: 'You'll have to buy the book to find out.'"

Fernando Morais revealed that, once, when he read Coelho's will, his attention was immediately caught by the mention of a locked trunk which was to be burned along with its contents soon after his death. "I was really intrigued and wanted to know what was inside the trunk. Paulo said it wasn't important, but I insisted and said that if it wasn't important, he wouldn't have put it in his will." Coelho then set his biographer a challenge: If he found the soldier who had wrongfully arrested him in the Brazilian state of Paraná in 1969 on accusations of terrorism, and who had then terrorized him for a whole week, then he could open the trunk. "When I sent him the interview and the picture of the soldier, he sent me the key to the trunk and I discovered that it contained 40 years. worth of diaries."

Important passages from Coelho's "treasure trunk" will be included in the biography. Divided into two sections, the first goes from his birth to the vision he had in a concentration camp in Germany. According to Morais, he reveals the identity of the person who appeared to Paulo in that vision and who later became his Teacher in the sect "Regnus Agnus Mundi" (RAM). The second section is devoted to the author's success and fame, after having fulfilled the dream of his life, publishing a book and becoming a writer with a worldwide readership.

Fernando Morais was born in 1946 in Mariana, Brazil, and is one of the most important contemporary biographers in Latin America. An acclaimed journalist and successful writer whose books have been translated into 21 languages, he has received the Esso Award three times, and the April Award for journalism on four occasions. The film Olga based on his homonymous novel was nominated to the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film in 2005. He has also been a Member of the Brazilian Parliament, as well as Secretary of Culture and Education in the State of São Paulo.

"On the morning of August 24, 1947, St. Bartholomew's Day, a baby was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Stillborn and motionless in his mother's womb, showing not the slightest intention of going out into the world, the baby had to be removed using forceps. When pulling him out, the doctor must have heard a slight noise, similar to the sound produced by a breaking pencil: it was the child's delicate collarbone which had not withstood the pressure of the forceps. But there was no point regretting the incident: the newborn child was dead, asphyxiated by the fluid that had protected him for nine months in his mother's body. His grieving Catholic parents called for someone to administer the last rites to the child. In the absence of a priest, a nun from the hospital was called to give the final blessing. Then, the sound of the parents' weeping was joined by a moan, almost a mew: the boy was alive. In a deep coma, but alive. Being born was the first challenge destiny had set Paulo Coelho, and he had survived it." + Extract from A Warrior's Life by Fernando Morais.