Ana Maria Gonçalves was born in Ibiá, Minas Gerais, in 1970. In 2002 the author and former English professor abandoned the career as a publicist in São Paulo and went to Itaparica Island (Bahia), where she spent six months writing her first novel »Ao lado e à margem do que sentes por mim« (2002; tr. Beside and at the edge of what you feel for me), an independent publishing sold on the internet.
In 2006 she published the epic story »Um defeito de cor« (2006; tr. »A color defect«), whereby she won the 2007 Casa de Las Américas award, in Cuba for »Brazilian Literature«. The novel narrates the history and trade of African slaves in Brazil through the eyes of Kehinde, an African elder that comes from Africa to Brazil searching for Omotunde, her son with a Portuguese man, lost for decades. The novel caused a great impact for going through eight decades of African and Brazilian history, narrating, through a feminine voice, the great African rebellion on the XIX Century and the Malês Rebelion (1835) in Salvador, among other significant moments of that time. The historical novel, marked by violence and the cultural and territorial belonging, was compared to »Roots: The Saga of an American Family; 1976«, by Alex Haley, an American classic about slavery, published in 1976. In 2009 she was part of the list that highlighted the10 best Brazilian books of fiction and poetry published in that decade, a list made by literary critics of the art’s section of the newspaper »O Globo« (Prosa e Verso). The author had short stories published in anthologies, both in Portugal »As Segundas Palavras da Tribo« (2002; tr. The Second Words of the Tribe) and Italy »Il Brasile per la Strade« (2009; tr. Brazil on the Road).
At the moment, Ana Maria Gonçalves is writing a novel about a Sociology professor from New Orleans, female to male transsexual, his sex reassignment and relations with lesbian partners, family and co-workers. Besides she works on a non-fiction book about the racial relations in Brazilian’s public education system, the myth of racial democracy in Brazil and abroad, the implementation of affirmative actions and laws that make racism a crime, among other subjects related to the Afro descendent cause. Nowadays, Ana Maria Gonçalves lives in New Orleans (USA).