For this year’s A to Z Blog challenge, I thought I’d draw back the curtain and explore the life and times of a bibliophile. Care to join me?
Here is my first departure from the books of my childhood that turned me into a lifelong reader. The fact that it had such a tremendous impact on me, speaks as much to the author as to the work itself.
On the surface, Eleven Minutes tells the story of a young Brazilian woman who has been trafficked to the sex industry in Europe, but like many of Paulo Coelho’s works, it goes deeper than that.
Eleven Minutes is the tale of one of the most complete redemptions of a person’s painful past I’ve read. It is allegorical, to be certain, and highly so, but the emotional truth Coelho brings to the story is extraordinary, taking Maria from disillusioned young woman to dispassionate and hardened prostitute, and finally to a woman who has learned to be vulnerable again.
Coelho’s skill in relaying this tale in a way that doesn’t seem the least bit salacious, and yet also managing to avoid clinical sterility only serves to bring a compassion and sensitivity to Maria’s story that couldn’t help but encourage me to engage my own conflicted history with love and sex.
Sensitive, unapologetic, deeply human, and willing to address difficult subjects. Writing like this is what keeps me reading.