It's Raining Books Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
  1. $16.77 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Love Me Back

    Merritt Tierce 9780385538077

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$7.95
List price: $15.99
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
3 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Eleven Minutes

by

Eleven Minutes Cover

ISBN13: 9780060589288
ISBN10: 0060589280
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 3 left in stock at $7.95!

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter One

Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria. Wait a minute. "Once upon a time" is how all the best children's stories begin and "prostitute" is a word for adults. How can I start a book with this apparent contradiction? But since, at every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss, let's keep that beginning.

Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria.

Like all prostitutes, she was born both innocent and a virgin, and, as an adolescent, she dreamed of meeting the man of her life (rich, handsome, intelligent), of getting married (in a wedding dress), having two children (who would grow up to be famous) and living in a lovely house (with a sea view). Her father was a travelling salesman, her mother a seamstress, and her hometown, in the interior of Brazil, had only one cinema, one nightclub and one bank, which was why Maria was always hoping that one day, without warning, her Prince Charming would arrive, sweep her off her feet and take her away with him so that they could conquer the world together.

While she was waiting for her Prince Charming to appear, all she could do was dream. She fell in love for the first time when she was eleven, en route from her house to school. On the first day of term, she discovered that she was not alone on her way to school: making the same journey was a boy who lived in her neighborhood and who shared the same timetable. They never exchanged a single word, but gradually Maria became aware that, for her, the best part of the day were those moments spent going to school: moments of dust, thirst and weariness, with the sun beating down, the boy walking fast, and with her trying her hardest to keep up.

This scene was repeated month after month; Maria, who hated studying and whose only other distraction in life was television, began to wish that the days would pass quickly; she waited eagerly for each journey to school and, unlike other girls her age, she found the weekends deadly dull. Given that the hours pass more slowly for a child than for an adult, she suffered greatly and found the days far too long simply because they allowed her only ten minutes to be with the love of her life and thousands of hours to spend thinking about him, imagining how good it would be if they could talk.

Then it happened.

One morning, on the way to school, the boy came up to her and asked if he could borrow a pencil. Maria didn't reply; in fact, she seemed rather irritated by this unexpected approach and even quickened her step. She had felt petrified when she saw him coming toward her, terrified that he might realize how much she loved him, how eagerly she had waited for him, how she had dreamed of taking his hand, of walking straight past the school gates with him and continuing along the road to the end, where — people said — there was a big city, film stars and television stars, cars, lots of cinemas, and an endless number of fun things to do.

For the rest of the day, she couldn't concentrate on her lessons, tormented by her own absurd behavior, but, at the same time, relieved, because she knew that the boy had noticed her too, and that the pencil had just been an excuse to start a conversation, because when he came over to her, she had noticed that he already had a pen in his pocket. She waited for the next time, and during that night — and the nights that followed — she went over and over what she would say to him, until she found the right way to begin a story that would never end.

But there was no next time, for although they continued to walk to school together, with Maria sometimes a few steps ahead, clutching a pencil in her right hand, and at other times, walking slightly behind him so that she could gaze at him tenderly, he never said another word to her, and she had to content herself with loving and suffering in silence until the end of the school year.

During the interminable school holidays that followed, she woke up one morning to find that she had blood on her legs and was convinced she was going to die. She decided to leave a letter for the boy, telling him that he had been the great love of her life, and then she would go off into the bush and doubtless be killed by one of the two monsters that terrorized the country people round about: the werewolf and the mula-sem-cabeç a (said to be a priest's mistress transformed into a mule and doomed to wander the night). That way, her parents wouldn't suffer too much over her death, for, although constantly beset by tragedies, the poor are always hopeful, and her parents would persuade themselves that she had been kidnapped by a wealthy, childless family, but would return one day, rich and famous, while the current (and eternal) love of her life would never forget her, torturing himself each day for not having spoken to her again.

She never did write that letter because her mother came into the room, saw the bloodstained sheets, smiled and said:

"Now you're a young woman."

Maria wondered what the connection was between the blood on her legs andher becoming a young woman, but her mother wasn't able to give her a satisfactory explanation: she just said that it was normal, and that, from now on, for four or five days a month, she would have to wear something like a doll's pillow between her legs. Maria asked if men used some kind of tube to stop the blood going all over their trousers, and was told that this was something that only happened to women.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

writermala, March 26, 2013 (view all comments by writermala)
I cannot believe I haven't read any of Paulo Coelho's works before! After reading "Eleven Minutes," I'm a true blue fan. My favorite line in the book is, "I want you however you want to be wanted." Coelho has explored a very delicate subject with finesse and dexterity and at the end of the book I was both satisfied and craving for more.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
jai41004, March 10, 2012 (view all comments by jai41004)
I really enjoyed this book. It's about a woman who gives up on love very early in life and seeks out fortune by traveling to Sweden to become a dancer. She eventually becomes a prostitute. Throughout the book she is exploring her feelings about love and sex in her journal. She ends up meeting someone and struggling to decide how to handle the feelings she has for him. Some of the passages from her journal are really insightful and others are just beautiful. My favorite quote from the book is: “Anyone who is in love is making love the whole time, even when they’re not. When two bodies meet, it is just the cup overflowing. They can stay together for hours, even days. They begin the dance one day and finish it the next, or--such is the pleasure they experience--they may never finish it. No eleven minutes for them.”
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Deborah Fochler, October 31, 2006 (view all comments by Deborah Fochler)
This is a novel about a prostitute but Paulo Coelho has written a sleazy but innocent character. You can not help but feel sympathy and empathy for the character.
She could almost be your sister or best friend. Just because of circumstances finds herself trying to survive and searching for love. A very character driven story but not one you will forget any time soon.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060589288
Author:
Coelho, Paulo
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Translator:
Costa, Margaret Jull
Author:
by Paulo Coelho
Subject:
General
Subject:
Brazil
Subject:
Prostitutes
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Prostitutes - Brazil
Subject:
Brazilians - Switzerland - Geneva
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20050331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.04x5.32x.77 in. .52 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. The Alchemist
    Used Trade Paper $7.50
  2. The Fifth Mountain
  3. Warrior of the Light: A Manual Used Trade Paper $7.50
  4. Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands Used Mass Market $4.95
  5. Little Star of Bela Lua
    New Hardcover $21.50
  6. Catch-22 Used Mass Market $4.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Eleven Minutes Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Perennial - English 9780060589288 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Down-to-earth dialogue and detail about classy whoring: one of Coelho's strongest."
"Review" by , "[A] compelling tale....A gripping exploration of the potentially sacred nature of sex within the context of love, this may well become Coelho's next international best-seller."
"Review" by , "Coelho's basically optimistic and life-affirming temperament and his sense of humor redeem the book from [its] Nordic angst. By the time the fairy tale ending arrives, we feel that Maria has earned her rewards."
"Review" by , "With a master's touch, Coelho pulls the reader, slowly but irresistibly, into ever-darker worlds of prostitution and sadomasochism....Coelho has set up a world so real that the reader really doesn't know...which way the tale will end."
"Synopsis" by , Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that "love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. . . ." A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune. Maria's despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness — sexual pleasure for its own sake — or risking everything to find her own "inner light" and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

"Synopsis" by , This gripping and daring novel by the author of the bestselling "The Alchemist" sensitively explores the sacred nature of sex and love. "Sensual . . . for-adults-only fairytale."--"Washington Post."

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.