Her twin sister, Susana, died just 37 days after their birth. A year later, her father, who worked for the U.S. State Department, was assigned to Mexico, where her sister, Anita, was born. He was transferred to El Salvador where Sandra lived for most of the next 20 years. She lived with her grandparents in northeastern Missouri, and attended Unionville high school, returning each summer to El Salvador.
In 1997 she was selected as the University of Minnesota Edelstein-Keller Distinguished Writer in Residence. In 1998 she did the Writers Community Residency for the YMCA National Writer’s Voice program. In the spring of 2001 she held the Knapp Chair in Humanities as Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of San Diego.
She lives with her husband, Jim Kondrick, in Edina, Minnesota.
- 2004 Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature.
- 2006 Gund Fellow
- 1998 American Book Award, for Bitter Grounds
|About Sandra Benitez|
|By Sandra Benitez|
- A Place Where the Sea Remembers. Simon and Schuster. 1993. ISBN 978-0-671-89267-8.
- Bitter Grounds. Macmillan. 1998. ISBN 978-0-312-19541-0.
- The Weight of All Things. Hyperion. 2002. ISBN 978-0-7868-8703-3.
- Night of the Radishes. Hyperion. January, 2004. ISBN 978-0-7868-6400-3.
- Bag Lady: A Memoir, The Triumphant True Story of Loss, Illness and Recovery. Benitez Books. 2005. ISBN 978-0-9774848-0-5.
- Mickey Pearlman (ed.). "Home Views". A Place Called Home: Twenty Writing Women Remember. St. Martin’s Press. ISBN 978-0-312-17443-9.
- Marilyn Kallet, Judith Ortiz Cofer (ed.). "Fire, Wax, Smoke". Sleeping with One Eye Open. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 978-0-8203-2153-0.
- Nicolás Kanellos (2003). Hispanic literature of the United States: a comprehensive reference. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-57356-558-5.
- "Hispanic Heritage Awards for Literature". Hispanic Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
- "Author's website"
- "Author Interview: Sandra Benitez", Book Browse
- Farhat Iftekharrudin, ed. (2003). "Sandra Benitez and the Nomadic Text". Postmodern approaches to the short story. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-32374-4.