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Katherine Anne Porter Books In Order

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Publication Order of Katherine Anne Porter Standalone Novels

Hacienda (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Noon Wine (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Downward Path to Wisdom (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Flower of Flowers (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Days Before (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Wreath for the Gamekeeper (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ship of Fools (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gracious Greatness (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Never-Ending Wrong (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Katherine Anne Porter Short Stories/Novellas

The Grave (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cracked Looking-Glass (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Katherine Anne Porter Collections

Flowering Judas and Other Stories (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Leaning Tower And Other Stories (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Old Order (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Collected Stories (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Collected Essays and Occasional Writings (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Uncollected Early Prose (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Katherine Anne Porter's Poetry (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Collected Stories and Other Writings (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Katherine Anne Porter Non-Fiction Books

Outline of Mexican popular arts and crafts (1922)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eudora Welty (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gertrude Stein, a self-portrait (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Conversations (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Letters of Katherine A. Porter (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
This Strange, Old World and Other Book Reviews (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Selected Letters of Katherine Anne Porter (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

50 Great Short Stories(1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Short Story Masterpieces: 35 Classic American and British Stories from the First Half of the 20th Century(1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Women and Fiction(1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stories of the Modern South(1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Growing Up in the South(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Short Story: 30 Masterpieces(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Downhome(1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Short Stories of the Century(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Katherine Anne Porter was a literary fiction author from Indian Creek Texas whose father claimed descent from Daniel Boone the American frontiersman.

Porter was always very interested in her family history and genealogy and for many years, tried to construct alleged descent from one of the companions of William the Conqueror.
At some point, it was alleged that William Sydney Porter was the second cousin to her father, even though this connection later turned out to be accidental.

Even though Porter spent a lot of time crafting her lineage, she failed to identify that she shared a great-grandmother with the 36th President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson.
Since she achieved a lot in the literary fiction world, the home where she grew up has been made into the “Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center.”

When Porter was just two years old in 1892, her mother died giving birth to one of her siblings. Her father took four of the surviving kids and took them to live in Kyle Texas with Catherine Ann Porter their grandmother.
Her grandmother proved very influential in her later life, as she even adopted her name. When her grandmother died, Katherine and the rest of the family resided in several small cities in Louisiana and Texas.

Over the years, she attended free schools in whatever town the family then lived in. For a year in 1904, she went to the private Thomas School in Texas and this would be the only formal schooling she had in her life.
As a sixteen-year-old, she left home and went to live in Lufkin, Texas which is where she met and married her husband John Henry Koontz.

Since he was a Catholic, she subsequently became one too. But her husband turned out to be a physically abusive man and she divorced him in 1915.

For a time she lived in Chicago where she was a movie extra in several films. She would then move to Texas and worked as a singer and actress in the entertainment circuit in her small town.

In 1919, Katherine Anne Porter moved to New York City’s Greenwich Village, where she started working as a ghostwriter penning children’s stories. She also worked as a PR executive for a small motion picture company.
Living in the Big Apple had a radical effect on her politics and it was not long before she began working for Diego Rivera, a member of the Mexican leftist movement.

In the decade between 1920 and 1930, she spent her life between New York and Mexico and started penning numerous essays and short stories. Katherine Anne Porter’s first short story was “The Century Magazine” published in Maria Concepcion.
In 1930, she published “Flowering Judas and Other Stories,” which was her debut short story collection. This would become a critically acclaimed collection that made her name in American literature.

By the mid-1940s, her reputation got her jobs as a writer in residence at several universities and colleges that included the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan, and the University of Chicago.
She has also been a teacher of creative writing at the University of Texas, the University of Michigan, and Stanford University.

“The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter” showcases the author’s skills, as she brings her characters to life and takes her readers deep into imaginative worlds with a minimum of words.
Porter tackles a range of experiences that are for the most part very familiar. In the short story, “The Rope,” a wife and husband engage in an argument over some piece of rope.

For many people who have been married, this is something that will make you chuckle. In fact, even someone that has had a close friend or even a sibling would relate to what happens in the story.
Another excellent story in the collection is “He” which deals with a mentally handicapped son and his mother. Just like the previous short story, there is a feeling that this tragic tale is all too common for many families.
“The Cracked Looking Glass” was my favorite of the bunch and especially the December/May marriage, which is particularly poignant.

The feelings of the lead character are so relatable and it is beautiful seeing the perspective of the protagonist change over time.

Katherine Anne Porter’s work “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” is a set of three short novels in one volume that is widely deemed to be among her best writings.
The work was so popular that it was critically acclaimed and was featured in prestigious publications such as “The Southern Review.”

“Old Mortality” her first novella is the story of two siblings and their larger family as they deal with family myths and legends.

As the two sisters try to determine what is truth and myth from the family folklore, we learn much about their upbringing including unraveling some mysteries about their relatives.
“Noon Wine,” the second novel is a tale of a family whose lives are upended by the hiring of a drifter at their south Texas small dairy farm.

The man makes himself invaluable to the family and ranch over the years, even though there is a sense of intrigue and mystery about the reclusive man.

“Pale Horse, Pale Rider” from which the work gets its name is set at the height of the Second World War.

The lead is Miranda who just moved to Colorado to take up employment as a reporter at a local newspaper. Things don’t start out so well as she contracts the Spanish flu which is a catastrophic illness that killed thousands in 1918.

“Ship of Fools” by Katherine Anne Porter is a work set on a passenger freighter known as the “Vera.” The ship is on a month-long journey to Germany from Veracruz in 1931.
On board, the ship is Mexicans, Germans, Spaniards, and Americans who comprise the aristocracy and peasants, who love to philosophize, bicker, love and fight.

The reader gets a view from every angle right from the small cabins. The Captain’s table, the dining room, and even the deck chairs set on the promenade. We even get to tag as the passengers go on excursions on the shore in overnight ports.
The overarching theme of the story is the seeking of some kind of utopia by the passengers after withdrawing from real life.

But these are people that have no sense of what to do next as they set out into a world of racism, prejudice, and all manner of evil.

Porter is excellent at portraying the characters as human beings with flaws and warts even if this may make some of the characters unpalatable.

However, some of the character flaws including stereotyping and antisemitism are still contemporary issues that we still deal with today. This makes this novel very relevant even in the 21st century.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Katherine Anne Porter

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