A twentieth-century American author, she is best known for Praise a Fine Day and Carnival by the Sea. The latter work tells the story of a woman lost in an amusement park.
Before becoming a novelist, she worked for the United Press and held several freelance journalism positions. She graduated from both Barnard College and Columbia University.
She was awarded the Prix de Rome fellowship in literature.
She grew up in New York, Mexico, and California. She married Stephen Greene in 1953.
Nelson Algren praised de Lima's literary work.