As a teenager, he studied in a seminar. Later he studied at the University of Coimbra. His experiences are related in his most famous work "Manhã Submersa", (Misty Morning, lit. Submerged Morning), which was published in 1953 and made into a film in 1980. Among his best novels is also "Aparição" (1959).
He worked most of his life as a teacher in several places around Portugal.