Zigmunds Skujiņš was born in Riga in 1926. His parents were workers. After Latvia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, he joined the Pioneer movement. He studied building at the Riga State technical school. In 1944, he was drafted into the German army and sent to Germany but saw no action. After being hospitalised, he became a prisoner-of-war and returned to Soviet-occupied Latvia after the war, where he worked as a journalist. He also started writing fiction and his first short story was published in 1948 and his first book of short stories was published in 1954. He has since published many novels and collections of short stories.