Photo by Joni Shimabukuro

Ruth Wariner

Ruth Wariner is an internationally renowned speaker and author of The Sound of Gravel, an instant New York Times bestseller, which People Magazine called “heartbreaking, haunting, yet ultimately uplifting.” Ruth’s is an intimate, heart-stopping story of courage and triumph. The thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children, she details her tumultuous childhood, coming of age in a polygamist family in rural Mexico. She offers an unforgettable portrait of the violence that threatened her community, her fierce loyalty to her siblings, and her own unshakeable belief in the possibility of a better future for them all. Ruth escaped to the U.S. with her youngest siblings in 1987, putting herself through college and graduate school while raising her three younger sisters. She taught high school Spanish for many years before becoming a writer and small business owner in Portland, Oregon.