Acclaimed as one of the great writers of the twentieth century, Jorge Luis Borges revolutionized the literature of Latin America almost single-handedly, as well as having a remarkable impact in Britain, France, Italy, the United States, and many other countries. He became famous for his astonishing tales of fantasy and metaphysics, but he was also a poet and essayist of formidable skill. Borges always insisted on the autobiographical basis of his writing, claiming that "the stories were about myself, my personal experiences," and that even fantasy was "a mode of confession." This is the first biography in any language to encompass the entire span of Borges's life and work, based on previously unknown or unavailable sources. It brings out the human side of Borges; his roots in Argentina, his relations with family and friends, in love and in despair. It charts the evolution of his political ideas; his early days as a cultural nationalist, his activities against Peron, his support for the Argentine military juntas during the Dirty War of the 1970s, and the pacifism he finally espoused. By correlating this new biographical information with Borges's literary texts, Edwin Williamson reconstructs the dynamics of his inner world -- the conflicts, desires, and obsessions that drove the man and shaped his work. A unique achievement is the discovery of hitherto unknown episodes in the 1920s and 1930s that drove Borges to the brink of suicide and changed him profoundly as a writer and whose memories haunt many of the most famous texts of his middle years. Complementing this crucial finding is an equally fascinating revelation; based on extensive interviews with Maria Kodama, the biography describes the successive phases of Borges's passionate love affair with her during the last two decades of his life. Edwin Williamson's major new biography finally unlocks the mysteries that still surround the life of Borges, and the result is a compelling and poignant portrait that will radically transform established views of this modern master.