Teolinda Gersão was born in Coimbra (Portugal). After a degree in English and German Studies at the University of Coimbra, she did post-graduate studies in Germany at the Universities of Tübingen and Berlin; during her last year in Berlin, she was a Lecturer of Portuguese at the Technical University. She returned to Portugal and taught at the University of Lisbon, and later at the New University of Lisbon, where she was full Professor of German Literature and Comparative Literature. She has been a full-time writer since 1995.
In addition to her three years in Germany, she lived for two years in São Paulo (Brazil) and for some time in Mozambique.
She is author of 12 books of novels and short-stories, translated into 11 languages. She was awarded the Pen Club Prize for the Novel twice, in 1981 and 1989, the Grand Prix for Novel of the Portuguese Writers´ Association in 1995, the Fiction Prize of the ICLA (International Critics´ Literary Association) in 1999, and in 2001 received the Grand Prix of the Portuguese Writers´ Association for Short Story. Her book of short stories, A Mulher que Prendeu a Chuva (2007), won the Maxima Review Literary Prize and the Fiction Prize of the Inês de Castro Foundation in 2008.
Three of her books have been adapted to the theatre and staged in Portugal, Germany and Romania. The theatrical version of her novel The House of the Horse´s Head won the Grand Prix at the International Theatre Festival in Bucharest in 1995. She was writer-in-residence at Berkeley University in 2004.
Many of her short-stories have been published in literary reviews in the USA, including in the W. Norton Anthology New Sudden Fiction, and her novel The Word Tree was published in Great Britain by Dedalus.
Her English translator is Margaret Jull Costa.
Photo by Gonçalo Cunha de Sá