Juan Rulfo was born in Sayula in the state of Jalisco in 1917 (note that he is sometimes erroneously said to have been born in 1918). The family moved to San Gabriel, which would be the basis for Comala in his novel Pedro Páramo (Pedro Paramo: A Novel of Mexico). His mother died in 1927 and, after living briefly with their grandmother, he and his brothers were sent to an orphanage in Guadalajara. He initially registered at the University of Guadalajara but was unable to study because of a student strike. After studying briefly at the University of Mexico he went to work as an immigration agent. He started writing and published a few stories and then went to work for Goodrich-Euzkadi in their publicity department. After publishing El llano en llamas y otros cuentos (The Burning Plain and Other Stories), which had some success, his fellowship at the Centro Mexicano de Escritores was extended. After publication of Pedro Páramo (Pedro Paramo: A Novel of Mexico), he virtually stopped writing, but edited a literary magazine, wrote screenplays and became an accomplished photographer. He subsequently became director of the Instituto Nacional Indigenista till his death from lung cancer in 1986.