Posts Tagged ‘Vladivostok’


March 23, 2011
Elif by Paulo Coelho

Elif by Paulo Coelho

Paulo reading Elif - Marcos Borges

Paulo reading Elif - Marcos Borges

Paulo signing Elif at St Joseph's Day Party

Paulo signing Elif at St Joseph's Day Party

In 2006 Paulo Coelho lost his way. He went on a journey, he took the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok. It was on this journey, a spiritual as well as physical journey, that he met Elif, a young Turkish woman.

Elif (O Aleph in Brazil and Portugal) is the story of this journey.

At a press conference in Istanbul on St Jospeph’s Day, Paulo Coelho said that Elif is 90% true, the changes were to fit in with the narrative, that it was very difficult to write, but that he was encouraged by his agent Monica Atunes (who just happened to be sat in front of me) to write it.

Elif is a point in time and space.

Elif was published in Turkey on 11 March 2011. It shot straight to No One.

After the press conference at Pera Palace Hotel I wandered along İstiklal Avenue where I found Elif on display in the window of a bookshop and on display inside.

At the airport Elif was on display at a newsstand. I asked how many they had sold in a week. They said 15-20, to which they added very unusual for a little kiosk.

Inside the airport Elif was on display in a bookstore at Duty Free. They had also built a tower of books of Elif. I asked the same question, to be told 60!

Aleph will not be published in English until September 2011.

At his St Joseph’s Day Party at the Pera Palace Hotel, Paulo Coelho kindly signed for me two copies of Elif. These I left behind in Istanbul as presents, one I gave to Elif the other to Işil.

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