Next Paulo Coelho novel imagines life of Mata Hari

NEW YORK (AP) — Paulo Coelho’s next novel is the imagined inner life of one of history’s most famous and provocative women, Mata Hari.

Alfred A. Knopf announced Thursday that Coelho’s “The Spy,” a first-person narrative about the Dutch-born dancer and courtesan, will come out Nov. 22. The book’s starting point is a letter she wrote in 1917, a week before being executed in Paris for alleged espionage during World War I. Coelho will also draw upon archival material released over the past 20 years.

Said Coelho: “Mata Hari was one of our first feminists, defying male expectations of that time and choosing instead an independent, unconventional life.”

Coelho, whose books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, is best known for the novel “The Alchemist.”

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