WHO: Paulo Coelho
WHAT: THE SPY,
a novel based on the life of Mata Hari
WHEN: Published by Knopf November 22, 2016
WHERE: The story is set in Paris.
“A philosophical, fictional memoir of a woman who paid the ultimate price for daring to defy convention in a time and a place where a war was raging, and justice was
“Drawing parallels with the French Revolution, Coelho uses Mata Hari’s story to illustrate how an individual’s fate can be caught up in the effort by the powers-that-be to distract the public from the horrific realities of their circumstances. Narrated in a last letter sharing her life story, Mata Hari’s fascinating past unfolds in matter-of-fact detail, culminating in her execution on charges of espionage. As an independent woman living life by her own rules, she is ultimately condemned by a society not only seeking diversion but also determined to punish her audacity.
“Coelho has a tremendous and loyal following, and his latest will also attract historical fiction fans and those intrigued by Mata Hari’s eternal allure.”
—Margaret Flanagan, BOOKLIST
“A striking novel.
The ending is brilliant in its irony, and throughout, Coelho displays an ability to inhabit Mara Hari’s voice…By the end, readers will believe they’ve read her actual letters.”
Translated from the Portuguese by Zoë Perry.
Knopf. 190 pages. $22 ISBN 978-1-101-94608-4
Publicist for this title:
Paul Bogaards | 212-572-2177 | firstname.lastname@example.org