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Manuscript Found in Accra

Cover of Manuscript Found in Accra

Manuscript Found in Accra

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The latest novel from #1 internationally best-selling author Paulo Coelho is a classic of inspiration and reflection, a meditation on life, love, and the significance of change.

A novel of philosophical reflection set in Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades. Here a community of Christians, Arabs, and Jews who have long lived together harmoniously have been warned of an imminent attack and certain destruction. Contemplating their demise, the community assembles to seek the wise counsel of a Greek Copt, who imparts comforting and guiding wisdom on the enduring attributes of human character. The novel unfolds as a sequence of parables on love, faith, sex, friendship, beauty, bravery, loyalty, and success.

The latest novel from #1 internationally best-selling author Paulo Coelho is a classic of inspiration and reflection, a meditation on life, love, and the significance of change.

A novel of philosophical reflection set in Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades. Here a community of Christians, Arabs, and Jews who have long lived together harmoniously have been warned of an imminent attack and certain destruction. Contemplating their demise, the community assembles to seek the wise counsel of a Greek Copt, who imparts comforting and guiding wisdom on the enduring attributes of human character. The novel unfolds as a sequence of parables on love, faith, sex, friendship, beauty, bravery, loyalty, and success.

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    Excerpted from the Hardcover edition

    Alas, that is not true. I am only twenty-one, my parents gave me love and an education, and I married a woman I love and who loves me in return. However, tomorrow, life will undertake to separate us, and we must each set off in search of our own path, our own destiny or our own way of facing death.

    As far as our family is concerned, today is the fourteenth of July, 1099. For the family of Yakob, the childhood friend with whom I used to play in this city of Jerusalem, it is the year 4859--he always takes great pride in telling me that Judaism is a far older religion than mine. For the worthy Ibn al-Athir, who spent his life trying to record a history that is now coming to a conclusion, the year 492 is about to end. We do not agree about dates or about the best way to worship God, but in every other respect we live together in peace.

    A week ago, our commanders held a meeting. The French soldiers are infinitely superior and far better equipped than ours. We were given a choice: to abandon the city or fight to the death, because we will certainly be defeated. Most of us decided to stay.

    The Muslims are, at this moment, gathered at the Al-Aqsa mosque, while the Jews choose to assemble their soldiers in Mihrab Dawud, and the Christians, who live in various different quarters, are charged with defending the southern part of the city.

    Outside, we can already see the siege towers built from the enemy's dismantled ships. Judging from the enemy's movements, we assume that they will attack tomorrow morning, spilling our blood in the name of the Pope, the "liberation" of the city, and the "divine will."

    This evening, in the same square where, a millennium ago, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate handed Jesus over to the mob to be crucified, a group of men and women of all ages went to see the Greek, whom we all know as the Copt.

    The Copt is a strange man. As an adolescent, he decided to leave his native city of Athens to go in search of money and adventure. He ended up knocking on the doors of our city, close to starvation. When he was well received, he gradually abandoned the idea of continuing his journey and resolved to stay.

    He managed to find work in a shoemaker's shop, and--just like Ibn al-Athir--he started recording every- thing he saw and heard for posterity. He did not seek to join any particular religion, and no one tried to persuade him otherwise. As far as he is concerned, we are not in the years 1099 or 4859, much less at the end of 492. The Copt believes only in the present moment and what he calls Moira--the unknown god, the Divine Energy, responsible for a single law, which, if ever broken, will bring about the end of the world.

    Alongside the Copt were the patriarchs of the three religions that had settled in Jerusalem. No government official was present during this conversation; they were too preoccupied with making the final preparations for a resistance that we believe will prove utterly pointless.

    "Many centuries ago, a man was judged and condemned in this square," the Greek said. "On the road to the right, while he was walking toward his death, he passed a group of women. When he saw them weeping, he said: 'Weep not for me, weep for Jerusalem.' He prophesied what is happening now. 'From tomorrow, harmony will become discord. Joy will be replaced by grief. Peace will give way to a war that will last into an unimaginably distant future.' "

    No one said anything, because none of us knew exactly why we were there. Would we have to listen to yet another sermon about these invaders calling...

About the Author-
  • Paulo Coelho is the author of many international bestsellers, including The Pilgrimage, The Alchemist, The Fifth Mountain, Eleven Minutes, and Aleph. In 2007, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2009, he received the Guinness World Record for the Most Translated Author for the same book (The Alchemist).

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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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