The definitive biography of a writer whose visions helped shape the philosophy of the New Age, a visionary whose legend lives on in The Prophet, one of the greatest bestsellers of the twentieth century In this comprehensive biography, Robin Waterfield traces the influences that shaped Kahlil Gibran, author of the inspirational New Age text The Prophet, which has sold millions of copies and remains an enduring work of the twentieth century. He explores Gibran's development from the wounded Romantic and angry young man to his final metamorphosis as the Prophet of New York, following him from the decadence of fin de siecle Boston to the vigor of Greenwich Village in its heyday before the First World War. Though known outwardly for the peace and optimism that permeates his work, Gibran's life, as Waterfield demonstrates, was littered with personal tragedy and conflicted sexuality. Admired by many as a charismatic, intelligent, and talented aesthete, Gibran could also be abusive, arrogant, narcissistic, and self indulgent. Tormented by his failure to live up to his own vision of spiritual fulfillment, Gibran ultimately succumbed to the ravages of alcoholism. Tragically, he did not live to see the phenomenal sales, The Prophet achieved. He died in 1931, seven and a half years after the publication of his best known book. Tracing Gibran's development as an artist and as a writer from his revolutionary short Arabic pieces to the confident biblical cadences of his more mature English works Waterfield offers fresh insights into Gibran's life and loves. Using Gibran's poetry and art, as well as the major social and cultural contexts of Gibran's lifetime, Waterfield completely reappraises all of the remaining primary sources for Gibran's life and character. In so doing, he offers an entirely new portrait of the complex man whose ideals shaped the New Age. Prophet is a powerful biography that offers both a thorough treatment of Gibran's life and work, as well as extraordinary insight into the character of a man whose writings still continue to influence legions of readers even today.