He was born in Araraquara, Brazil, in 1936. He became a journalist in his hometown and stayed in that same career in São Paulo when he moved to that city at age 21. He worked at the newspaper Última Hora, then at the magazines Claudia, Realidade, Setenta, Planeta, Ciência e Vida, Lui and, finally, Vogue.  Currently he writes a twice-monthly column for the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo. In 1965 he released his first book Teeth Under the Sun; short stories.

   Later he published 42 books, including novels, short stories, chronicles, travel stories, children’s stories and a play. Among the best known are Bebel Que a Cidade Comeu, Dentes Ao Sol, O Beijo Não Vem da Boca, and Cadeiras Proibidas. The other novel is Não Verás País Nenhum, published in 1981, which tells of a Brazil without trees or water, immobilized cars clogging the streets, and chaos and violence dominating everything. In 2008 he won the Jabuti Prize with O Menino que Vendia Palavras, considered the best work of fiction of the year. In 2011 he released A Morena da Estação, chronicles about trains, railways and stations. Recently he published Os Olhos Cegos dos Cavalos Loucos, an exciting story that stayed in his mind for 60 years and revolves around his grandfather, to whom he was indebted his entire life.

   He is a member of the Academia Paulista de Letras, a columnist for the newspapers O Estado de São Paulo; Tribuna Impressa, in Araraquara; and Die Zeit, in Munich. He presents lectures―what he calls “cordial conversation”―about literature in Brazil, and is one of the permanent mediators for the newspaper Jornada Literária de Passo Fundo, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

   For him, literature is a dream, passion, amusement, pleasure, trips to unknown worlds, therapy. Besides writing, he enjoys a good wine, a good margarita, a good meal, travel, a deserted beach, and meatloaf. In his book O Mel de Ocara he recounts the lectures he gave in all of the Brazilian states, revealing a Brazil that most people don’t know because of its size and diversity. He hates boring people, intellectual conversations, rationalisms and uneasy people, detests when people speak loudly on their cellphones, and hates window openings that let in cold air on the bus or train. Recently, when a newspaper was very insistent, he revealed the epitaph he wants on his tombstone: “Know that I am here against my will.”

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