An American fiction writer and poet, she is best known for Victory Over Japan, a collection of short stories. Her other works include The Annunciation (novel) and Drunk with Love (short story collection).
She spent her childhood on her grandparents' plantation in Vicksburg, Mississippi. She studied philosophy and creative writing at Millsaps College.
She was a regular commentator on National Public Radio.
Her four marriages produced three children.
She studied under Eudora Welty at Millsaps College.