Rarely does adolescent love reach its full potential, but what happens when two young lovers reunite after eleven years? Time has transformed Pilar into a strong and independent woman, while her devoted childhood friend has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader. She has learned well how to bury her feelings… and he has turned to religion as a refuge from his raging inner conflicts.

Now they are together once again, embarking on a journey fraught with difficulties, as long-buried demons of blame and resentment resurface after more than a decade.

BY THE RIVER PIEDRA I SAT DOWN AND WEPT


Rarely does adolescent love reach its full potential, but what happens when two young lovers reunite after eleven years? Time has transformed Pilar into a strong and independent woman, while her devoted childhood friend has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader. She has learned well how to bury her feelings… and he has turned to religion as a refuge from his raging inner conflicts.

Now they are together once again, embarking on a journey fraught with difficulties, as long-buried demons of blame and resentment resurface after more than a decade.

Editions

Rights sold in 41 languages:

Albanian, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese(Complex), Chinese (Simplified), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malayalam, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

Reviews

"With By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, Coelho has done it again.
He must have angels at his desk."
-- MARIT C. ANDERSEN, ROMERIKES BLAD, NORWAY, 1996

 

"Coelho's uncompressing spiritualism may alienate some, but Alan R. Clarke's simple but somehow elevated translation from the Portuguese captures his earnest belief that in everyday life, we are in the midst of the extraordinary."
-- THE TIMES, UK, AUGUST 1997

 

"By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is a parable to explain that real love is an act of total abandon."
-- FABIO GAMBARO, LA SETTIMANA, ITALY, 1996

 

"By the River Piedra I Sat Down & Wept is a profound novel, full of thoughts and dreams we can all relate to."
-- OPPLAND ARBEIDERBLAD, NORWAY, 1996

 

"Paulo Coelho, if I were 20 years old, I would travel the world with your book."
-- SISTER EMMANUELLE, LE BOULLION DE CULTURE/BERNARD PIVOT, FRANCE, APRIL 1996

 

"By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is as wonderful as The Alchemist! What I like about Paulo Coelho is his clear and straightforward way to express feelings. In his books, everybody can identify with his characters, who are not super heroes, but rather mere men and women searching for their own past and their own truth."
-- VANESSA DEMOUY, GALA, FRANCE, JANUARY 1996

 

"The reconsideration of the feminine, the knowledge of the Other, and the redemption of ourselves are the principle ideas offered by Paulo Coelho in this exceptional novel. The life companion, the Virgin Mother, the Huntress of the Moon, the Lady of the Harvests: Cybele, Demeter, Lourdes and Montserrat are qualities of the feminine that are in us and that we must rediscover to fully become what we want to be, what we must be."
-- LAURA ESQUIVEL, AUTHOR OF LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE

 

"Coelho's novel can be read as a love story, but also as an allegory of man's inner dualism. Its central message is a thought, there is something MORE than intelligence, which we are now bowing in front of. Reading the epilogue, I think I had to dry my eyes a few times. Must have been some dirt…"
-- MINÄ OLEN, FINLAND, NOVEMBER 1997

 

"Paulo Coelho has mastered the craft of illumined storytelling with depth, heart and wisdom. I consider his writing among the best in its genre, The Alchemist was a delight and this, his latest work, is another gem that will continue to shine after our lifetimes. I recommend his writing to any reader wishing to enter new worlds and return transformed by Coelho's craft as he touches all our lives and all our hearts."
-- DAN MILLMAN, AUTHOR OF WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR

 

"A wondrous book, full of mystery and light."
-- OSCAR HIJUELOS, AUTHOR OF THE MAMBO KINGS AND PLAY OF LOVE

 

"A condensed and soulful book, a hymn to love and to the Virgin Mary that might surprise those who were expecting a sequel to The Alchemist."
-- BIBLIOTECA, FRANCE, NOVEMBER 1995

 

"With his last novel, Coelho offers us a beautiful story, full of poetry without concessions."
-- PAGE, FRANCE, SEPTEMBER 1995

 

"It tells a very beautiful love story between two childhood friends. A simple and poetic writing that takes us along on a quest and carries us down a legendary river. Let the current of this river sweep you along. You will become the witness of a wonderful adventure."
-- TOUT PRÉNOIR, FRANCE, SEPTEMBER 95

 

"The story of By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is beautiful and innocent like a saint parable (Saint Sulpice)."
-- COSMOPOLITAN, FRANCE, JULY 1995

 

"The novel shines with a radiant brightness. Readers, whether believers or not, for a short time, will find an escape from daily life where hope is normally a rare commodity."
-- VSD, FRANCE, JUNE 1995

 

"The amazing message of By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept may surprise but, like The Alchemist, it holds many lessons of life, and carries us away in its magic. Coelho recognizes that he is a bit of a sorcerer, and once the book is closed, one feels again inexplicably happy."
-- AFFICHES PARISIENNES, FRANCE, JUNE 1995

 

Extracts

“You have to take risks”- he said.


“We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.


“Every day, God gives us the sun–and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy.


“Every day, we try to pretend that we haven’t perceived that moment, that it doesn’t exist–that today is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow.


But if people really pay attention to their everyday lives, they will discover that magic moment.
It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something mundane, like putting our front-door key in the lock.
It may lie hidden in the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us.
But that moment exists–a moment when all the power of the stars becomes a part of us and enables us to perform miracles.”

Photos