Culture-Book: The Spy by Paulo Coelho

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Paulo Coelho’s 19th title, launched internationally in September, brings us the story of Mata Hari, who continues to capture our imagination

We have no doubt about it, even if you have never read any of his books; you know who Paulo Coelho is. After all, the numbers do not lie: The Alchemist – the best-selling Brazilian book of all time – is revered as an important literary phenomenon of the 20th century. His books are in circulation in over 150 countries and have already been translated into 66 languages. He has worked as a director and playwright, journalist and composer. He writes for newspapers in Mexico, Argentina, Poland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Taiwan, Romania, Germany and 13 other countries. He was the world’s second best-selling writer in 1998 and number one in 18 countries. Still not enough? He is also a member of the Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazilian Academy of Letters).

With such impressive credentials, his new romantic novel is no exception and hooks the reader from page one. The Spy was inspired by the exchange of letters between the famous Dutch dancer Mata Hari and her lawyer, a few days before Hari was shot by firing squad on accusation of espionage during WW1, in 1917. Told in the first person, the story is set between the late 19th and early 20th century.

Supported by the seductive qualities of this exotic dancer – one of the most fascinating women in history – we bet this will be another success for the author’s portfolio. Any doubts anyone?

The Spy

Coelho, Paulo

183 pages / Ed. Paralela (Companhia das Letras)

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