New Delhi Jun 17: Author Paulo Coelho's next novel 'The Spy' is based on the imagined life of Mata Hari, the courtesan who was accused and executed for treason, a hundred years ago, publishers Penguin Random House India said. Mata Hari was a Dutch dancer who shocked and delighted audiences during the first World War, and she became a confidant to some of the era's richest and most powerful men.
She dared to liberate herself from the moralism and provincial customs of the early twentieth century, but ultimately paid for it with her life. Books written by Coelho include 'The Alchemist' among others have sold 200 million copies in 160 countries including India.
Susan Sandon, Managing Director of Cornerstone, has acquired the rights to the new novel by Coelho. Sandon, acting on behalf of Hutchinson at Cornerstone, Hamish Hamilton in Australia and New Zealand, and Penguin Random House India, struck a deal for an undisclosed figure with Monica R Antunes at Sant Jordi Asociados.
'The Spy' is set to be published this November simultaneously with Knopf in the US. Meru Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief, Penguin Random House India said "I am delighted to be publishing Paulo Coelho again.
He is such a widely loved and respected author in the subcontinent, and I truly believe that the captivating story of Mata Hari, an extraordinary woman ahead of her time, will resonate deeply with readers in India."
As Mata Hari she waited for her execution in a Paris prison, one of her last requests was for a pen and some paper to write letters.