Mia Couto was born in 1955 in Beira, Sofala province, Mozambique. He lived there until he was 17, when he went to Lourenço Marques to study Medicine. He interrupted the course to start a journalistic career that went on till 1985. On his own initiative, he returned to university to study biology, graduating in 1989. Up till now he works as a biologist in Mozambique.
He has published more than 30 books that are translated and edited in thirty different countries. His books cover many genres ranging from romance to poetry, from short stories to children’s books. He has received dozens of awards in his career, including – twice – the National Prize for Literature, the Camões Prize and the Neustadt Prize, considered the ‘US Nobel’. In 2016 he was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize. His novel Terra Sonâmbula was chosen by an international jury convened in Zimbabwe as one of the ‘10 Best African Books of the Twentieth Century.’ He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.