With more than 30 million copies sold, The Alchemist is one of the best loved and bestselling books in the world. The Zahir, Paulo Coelho's new novel, is a perfect follow-on to The Alchemist. Paulo picks up the theme of the pilgrimage but tells a very different, gripping story of love, loss and passionate obsession.
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 not just his powerful and captivating storytelling, but also his extraordinary insight into what it is to be a human being in a world full of possibility.
In Arabic Zahir means 'visible, present and unable to go unnoticed.' It refers to something or someone that ends up being the only thing we can think of. This state of 'possession' can be understood as saintliness or insanity, with a fine line between the two.
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'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.' THE TIMES
'One of the few to deserve the term "Publishing Phenomenon".' THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
'Coelho's talent to inspire his readers with wisdom and hope, while offering them an insight into the struggle that everyone encounters in their journey through life, is as strong as ever. There is a forgiving kindness and humanity that is unmistakeable and tremendously appealing.’ DAILY MAILFrom the Author:
What is the central idea behind The Zahir?
That the unexpected happens, and that weíre not always prepared for it. When everything in our life appears to be organised, that is the danger-point, because what we call "organisation" is really just a story weíve been told, but itís not a story that can be sustained. I try to explore the story we havenít been told, taking as my main character a successful writer who, when his wife suddenly leaves him, is forced to reassess his life. However, instead of taking a step forward and discovering new opportunities, he becomes obsessed by the question: "Why did my wife leave me?" and that turns into his Zahir.
What is a Zahir?
According to the writer Jorge Luis Borges, the idea of the Zahir comes from the Islamic tradition and probably arose in the eighteenth century. In Arabic "zahir" means "visible", "present", "incapable of going unnoticed". It can refer to an object or a person, and that object or person gradually takes over our every thought, until we are unable to think of anything else. This could be considered a state of holiness or a state of madness.
The Zahir can be a person, a job, an objective, but the attempt to possess or achieve it never brings us happiness, instead, it becomes an unhealthy obsession. Unfortunately, this is an experience everyone goes through.
Can a person have more than one Zahir in their life?
As frustrations accumulate, Zahirs appear. That way, we donít think about how to solve the problem, instead we become fixated on its image.
Itís one thing to follow our dreams and to believe in the signs that guide us on our way. Then we have a goal to aim at, but we also enjoy the journey. With a Zahir we donít get that same feeling of joy with every step we take, only the stubborn desire to get what we believe to be necessary for us to live.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 0007204167. Bookseller Inventory # IM21492
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007204167
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007204167
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110007204167
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0007204167 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW4.0002230