Chellis Glendinning was born just after World War II and came of age during the decolonization, liberation, and feminist movements. The central themes of her writings include the interlace of the personal with the political and a critique of mass technological society as contrasted by nature-based cultures. She has written nine books – including the latest: her first novel (and first in Spanish), Objetos, published by Editorial 3600 in La Paz, Bolivia; and a generational memoir based on the lives of people she has known in social movements, In the Company of Rebels: A Generational Memoir of Bohemians, Deep Heads, and History Makers, published by New Village Press/NYU Press. She is currently completing a second novel, Tea Cups and Machine Guns.

Glendinning has also published hundreds of articles and essays in journals, magazines, and newspapers. In the northern hemisphere these include Guernica, Orion, CounterPunch, Alternet, ColdType, Santa Fe New Mexican, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Salon, and Race, Poverty and the Environment. In Bolivia she has written for Los Tiempos, Le Monde Diplomatique, and Nueva Crónica. She also is Editor-on-the-Lam at Journal of Wild Culture.

In 2007 her folk opera about immigration, De Un Lado Al Otro, was performed at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico -- with Robert Castro directing and Cipriano Vigil composing.

In 1969—a few weeks after being jailed during the protests at People's Park, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California/Berkeley in social sciences. She received her Ph.D in psychology from Columbia Pacific University and for thirty years practiced as a licensed psychotherapist specializing in trauma recovery.

In 1997 she was awarded the Río Arriba County Zero Injustice Award for her “courageous stand in support of the customs, culture, and traditions of the Native American and Indo-Hispano people of northern New Mexico.” She received the New Mexico Humanities Council First Times Award for Short Story Writing in 1989, and both Off the Map and Chiva won the National Federation of Press Women Book Award, in 2000 and 2006. Utne Reader named her one of the world’s visionary thinkers in 2001. And her "Rinconcito en el Cielo" radio series, produced for KUNM-FM/Albuquerque NM, won the New Mexico Broadcasters’ Association Community Award for documentary feature in 2010.

Glendinning lives in an antique adobe in Chuquisaca, Bolivia. Archives of her life, times, and work are housed at the Labadie Collection of the University of Michigan.