Lino Leitão was born in Goa. He studied at Karnataka University in India and was involved in Goa’s freedom struggle against the Portuguese, which was brought to a premature end when India invaded Goa and annexed the territory in 1961. In the 1960s Leitão left India and settled in Uganda (as did the family of fellow Goan writer Peter Nazareth). There he worked as a teacher until the growing hostility towards and finally expulsion of South Asians by the government of Idi Amin drove him to settle in Canada. He currently lives in Quebec.
He wrote three earlier collections of short stories, Collected Tales, Goan Tales and Six Tales, all published in Canada, which deal mainly with Goans overseas.
The Gift of the Holy Cross explores Leitão’s conviction that the Goan roots of the struggle for freedom were swamped by the Indian invasion and then betrayed by its political leaders.