Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He was born in Rio de Janeiro to a traditional Catholic family. Paulo Coelho liked to write at a young age, but he was discouraged by his father who wanted his son to be an engineer. Because of that, Paulo had depressive episodes requiring hospitalization during adolescence. During the 60's, he devoted himself to theater, and in the 70’s, he joined The Hippie Movement, at which time he composed songs for popular Brazilian singers like Rita Lee, Elis Regina, Raul Seixas, the latter being an important partner. In 1980 Coelho married the artist, Christina Oiticica, who remains his life-long support.
In 1986, Coelho walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela, a turning point in his life. On the path, Coelho had a spiritual awakening, which he described in the autobiographical book, The Pilgrimage.