Juan Rulfo (1917-1986) was a Mexican writer, screenwriter, and photographer. Rulfo is considered one of the most important writers in 20th-century Latin America, though his production – consisting of essentially two books – was very small. As a child growing up in the rural countryside, Rulfo witnessed the latter part (1926-29) of the violent Cristero rebellion in western Mexico. His family of prosperous landowners lost a considerable fortune. Rulfo’s father was killed in 1923 and his mother died in 1927. His first book, The Burning Plain (El llano en llamas, 1953), is a collection of realistic short stories centered on life in rural Mexico around the time of the Mexican Revolution. His second book, Pedro Páramo (1955), a short novel, is set in a mythical hell on earth inhabited only by the dead. Pedro Páramo is considered one of the most influential Latin American novel of the twentieth century. Juan Rulfo died from lung cancer in 1986.