Elizabeth Borton knew she wanted to be a writer from childhood. She had her first success at age eight, when a local paper published one of her poems. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford, she went to Boston to study the violin, but soon was working as a reporter for The Boston Herald. In 1935 she married Luis Treviño Arreola y Gómez Sánchez de la Barquera and moved with him to Mexico. Her memoir My Heart Lies in the South (1953) became a bestseller and established her as a writer. She won a Newbery Medal in 1966.