If one is to credit the hypothetical, then the success of the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho began very much in Africa.
This came after the translation of his 1988 bestseller The Alchemist, an allegorical novel about a shepherd boy who journeys to the pyramids in Egypt in search of a fortune. When the book was translated into English in 1993, it sold tens of millions of copies and launched the international career of Coelho. The novel, whose manuscript Coelho wrote in just two weeks, became a global phenomenon devoured by youngsters, celebrities and leaders like Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin.
Coelho now wants to share some of that triumph with African readers. The novelist said in a tweet today that he was looking to distribute his books in both African cities and rural areas. “I’m going to buy the titles from my publishers [and] give them for free to schools & libraries,” he said, asking his followers to send their requests to an email address.