Originally written in Portuguese, The Zahir is a 2005 novel by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho. Since its publication, it has been translated into over 40 languages, becoming a global phenomenon.
The Zahir is a novel about a pilgrimage, or a holy journey, a theme touched upon in one of Coelho's other works as well. The protagonist is a prominent novelist who seeks his wife, Ester, who disappeared one night. Over the course of the novel, the protagonist comes to terms with his wife's odd abscondance, as well as the factors that might have played into it.
When it appeared, The Zahir was celebrated by critics. Many praised Coelho for masterfully incorporating themes of love, loss, obsession, and despair into a gripping narrative. As well, the novel has enjoyed great success among readers.