Read an Excerpt of Katherine Anne Porter’s Flu Novel

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One hundred thirty years ago, on May 15, 1890, Katherine Anne Porter—Texan, journalist, novelist—was born.

Her generation lived through many things, and yet American fiction from her peers—perhaps a bit exhausted from having to chronicle World War I—does not mention (at least explicitly) the 1918 influenza epidemic much. Her collection of three short novels, Pale Horse, Pale Rider, is the most famous example. For some readers, ordering books might be a challenge. Or maybe your local library and stores are simply out of stock. Way back in 2006, Alice McDermott bemoaned the lack of Porter, and the “low demand” sticker taped to a copy of one of her books.

Don’t fret. The New York Review of Books has helpfully uploaded an excerpt to its website. It even has a nice paragraph introduction from Elizabeth Hardwick on Porter’s “clear, fluent, almost untroubled” style. Oh, also don’t fret: The excerpt ends on a chipper note. The last paragraph begins, “No more war, no more plague…”

Perhaps put on the tunes of another birthday haver: Brian Eno. I recommend sinking into Porter’s writing with his heavenly, ambient “Reflection.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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