Writers on Writing: Paulo Coelho’s Introduction
This is a little something for readers who are interested in why writers become writers and what it takes to become a writer, or anything else your heart could possibly imagine.
Not that long ago I was reading the tenth anniversary edition of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The Alchemist is a novel that is hard to categorize. Some readers consider it religious in nature. Others consider it to be speculative fiction, bordering on fantasy. (I think it fits in both, but that’s a discussion for another time.)
The point is when I read a book I tend to read the acknowledgements, the introduction, the afterword, the prologue, and so on. Call it a quirk or something only a writer would do. I told a friend of mine how beautiful and inspiring I found the introduction of The Alchemist to be. She responded with “I can’t find it.” I asked her what she meant. She informed me that she’d checked out a preview of the book, and the introduction I was describing did not match what she was seeing. Of course, I investigated.
It turned out that a twenty-fifth anniversary edition of this book had come out, and Paulo Coelho had rewritten the introduction to this new edition. This new introduction is also lovely, but it is not the same. So for those of you who do not have access to the tenth anniversary edition of The Alchemist, below is a link to the introduction that is posted on the author’s blog. I hope you find this as beautiful as I did.