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Eleven Minutes

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Eleven Minutes Cover

 

 

Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Maria is 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, yet ends up working as a prostitute.

In Geneva, 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.

Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways is Maria's process of self-discovery similar to the rites of passage all young women experience?
  2. Of all the turning points in Maria's life, which was the most crucial and why?
  3. Why do you think Paulo Coelho chose a prostitute as a protagonist for a parable on the sacred nature of sex? Can you think of other memorable literary figures who resemble Maria?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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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.
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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.”
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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.
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(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060589288
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Coelho, Paulo
Translator:
Costa, Margaret Jull
Author:
by Paulo Coelho
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
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:
20050329
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.04x5.32x.77 in. .52 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Eleven Minutes Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 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."

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