Osman Lins Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Osman Lins (leens) was born in the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil, a region whose cultural heritage is often elaborated in his fiction. Lins was the son of a tailor and was reared by his grandmother; he never knew his mother, and the author himself has speculated that his exploratory fiction may be psychologically linked to that loss. Lins went to high school in the state capital, Recife, where he also studied economics at the university. During this period he published his first stories. In addition, Lins studied dramaturgy at the university. He later wrote and published several plays, some of which were staged in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Lins moved to metropolitan São Paulo to work for the Banco do Brasil. After retiring from the banking profession and completing a doctoral degree, Lins taught literature at a private college. He soon resigned his position, both to dedicate himself to writing and in protest of the precarious conditions of higher education in Brazil, a topic he addresses in essays and fiction. When he died, Lins was in the process of finishing another novel.

Lins’s early work is largely introspective but also has some regionalist features. O visitante (the visitor) concerns moral questions and the relationship of personal awareness to behavioral codes. These preoccupations are also evident in the individual stories of Os gestos (gestures) and in O fiel e a pedra (the faithful and the stone), which is set in the author’s home state. This novel has an epic design (derived from Vergil’s Aeneid) and a clear moral intent. The hero, moved by passion and...

(The entire section is 669 words.)


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Andrade, Ana Luiza. “Osman Lins.” In Modern Latin-American Fiction Writers, Second Series, edited by William Luis and Ann Gonzalez. Vol. 145 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Group, 1994. A good introductory essay on Lins’s life and works.

Review of Contemporary Fiction 15, no. 3 (Fall, 1995). In this issue, Lins’s wife, Julieta Goloy Ladiera, collects various interviews, commentary, recollections and articles on and by Osman Lins. Some of the articles are an interview by Edla Van Steen; an introduction to Lins by Dria Frizzi; critiques of several of his works; Lins’s essay “Of Idealism and Glory,” in which he discusses what it means to be a writer; and an essay by his wife about his career.

Simas, Rosa. Circularity and Visions of the New World in William Faulkner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Osman Lins. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1993. The specialized work focuses on the exploration theme. Lins’s Avalovara is specifically discussed. Bibliography.