The Prophet is a book of 26 poetic essays written in English by the Lebanese artist, philosopher and writer Khalil Gibran. The prophet Al-Mustafa is about to board a ship which will carry him home. He is stopped by a group of people, with whom he discusses many issues of life and the human condition. The book is divided into chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death. Cover illustration by Khalil Gibran.
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Kahlil Gibran was born in Bsharri, Lebanon in 1883 into an impoverished Christian family whose fortunes found a new low when his father, a feckless tax collector, was imprisoned for embezzlement. Taken aged 12 by his redoubtable mother with his brother and sisters to start a new life America, Kahlil was transformed into a talented artist and poet whose work was destined to bring him global fame. His masterpiece, The Prophet, first published in 1923, is among the most-read books of the last century, reaching huge sales in the New Age era of 1960s when it inspired the lyric-writing of John Lennon among others. But Gibran enjoyed only scant recognition in his own time. His health broken by chronic illness and self-neglect, he died aged only 48 in his adopted home of New York in 1931. He is buried at Bsharri, where his tomb, now a museum, is visited by more than 50,000 pilgrims annually.
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