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His critics dismiss his writing as New Age drivel, promoting a vague spirituality devoid of rigor. A confident writer who rejects the self-help label—"I am not a self-help writer; I am a self-problem writer"—Coelho dismisses his naysayers' critiques. "When I write a book I write a book for myself; the reaction is up to the reader," he says. "It's not my business whether people like or dislike it."
Coelho has been married to his wife, the artist Christina Oiticica,
since 1980. Together the couple spends half the year in Rio de Janeiro and the other half in a country house in the Pyrenees Mountains of France. In 1996, Coelho founded the Paulo Coelho Institute, which provides support to children and the elderly. He continues to write, following his own version of The Alchemist's "Language of the World."
"[Jorge Luis] Borges said there are only four stories to tell: a love story between two people, a love story between three people, the struggle for power and the voyage," Coelho has said. "All of us writers rewrite these same stories ad infinitum."
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