Dourado was born in Patos de Minas, state of Minas Gerais. Going against current trends in Brazilian literature, Dourado's works display much concern with literary form, with many obscure words and expressions. Minas Gerais is the setting for most of Dourado's books, resembling the early to mid-20th century regionalist trend in Brazilian literature. Most literary critics consider Dourado's work to have similarities to Baroque literature.
In 1981, Dourado won the prestigious Goethe Prize.
- Uma Vida em Segredo 1964 - translated as A Hidden Life
- Ópera dos Mortos 1967 - translated as Voices of the Dead
- O Risco do Bordado 1970 - translated as Pattern for a Tapestry
- Os Sinos da Agonia 1974 - translated as Bells of Agony
- Ópera dos Fantoches 1995
- As Imaginações Pecaminosas (Goethe Prize for Literature 1981)
- A Serviço Del-Rei 1984
- Confissões de Narciso 1997
Novels with English translations are posted above with their American titles.
- Rector, Mônica (2004-11-19). Brazilian writers. Thomson Gale. pp. 161–. ISBN 978-0-7876-6844-0. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
- "Aos 86 anos, morre no Rio o escritor Autran Dourado". O Globo. 2012-09-30. Retrieved 30 September 2012.