Leslie Marmon Silko was born in 1948 to a family whose ancestry includes Mexican, Laguna Indian, and European forebears. As she grew up on the Laguna Pueblo Reservation, she learned the stories and culture of the Laguna people from her great-grandmother and other female relatives. After receiving her B. A. in English at the University of New Mexico, she enrolled in the University of New Mexico law school but completed only three semesters before deciding that writing and storytelling, not law, were the means by which she could best promote justice. Prior to the writing of Ceremony, she published a series of short stories, including The Man to Send Rain Clouds. She also authored a volume of poetry, Laguna Woman: Poems, for which she received the Pushcart Prize for Poetry. In 1973, Silko moved to Ketchikan, Alaska, where she wrote Ceremony. Silko has followed the critical success of Ceremony with a series of other novels, including Storyteller, Almanac for the Dead, and Gardens in the Dunes.