Katherine Anne Porter's life closely paralleled that of her century not only in its span (1890-1980) but in its interests and contradictions. A communist sympathizer who became a quasi fascist, a cosmopolitan who embraced southern agrarianism, a femme fatale whose writings nonetheless evince feminist feeling, Porter embodied, often at their extremes, the major currents of her time and ours. In this new biography Janis P. Stout argues that these inconsistencies can be viewed as part and parcel of modernism itself.

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