João de Melo was born on the island of São Miguel (Azores, 1949), but came to study in Lisbon at the age of eleven, and it is in this city where he has lived since 1967. Mobilized for the colonial war, he was in Angola between 1971 and 1974, as a sergeant nurse. After graduating in Romance Philology from the Faculty of Letters, he practiced the teaching profession in secondary and higher education. For nine years (2001-2010), at the invitation of the Portuguese Government, he assumed the position of cultural advisor at the Portuguese Embassy in Spain, carrying out there an unprecedented dissemination of Portuguese culture. Author of works of fiction (novels and short stories), essays, anthologies, poetry, chronicles of opinion and of travel, he has books translated in a dozen countries. He received prestigious literary awards, five of which were attributed to his best-known novel “Gente Feliz com Lágrimas”, and the Vergílio Ferreira Prize (in 2016) for his work as a whole.