Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston was born in Inglewood, California, in 1934. She studied sociology and journalism at San Jose State University, where she met her husband and cowriter of her memoir Farewell to Manzanar, James D. Houston. For their teleplay for the NBC television drama based on Farewell to Manzanar, they received the prestigious Humanitas Prize. Jeanne's widely anthologized essays and short stories were first collected in Beyond Manzanar: Views of Asian American Womanhood. Her works have earned numerous honors, including a United States-Japan Cultural Exchange Fellowship; a Rockefeller Foundation residence at Bellagio, Italy; and a 1984 Wonder Woman Award, given to women over forty who have made outstanding achievements in pursuit of truth and positive social change.