Katherine Anne Porter
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Born in Indian Creek, Texas in 1890.
Name at birth was Callie Russell Porter.
Her mother died before she was two so her
paternal grandmother was the main woman
in her life.
In 1901, her grandmother died causing her
father to send her to a Catholic convent in
New Orleans to be educated.
When she was 16, she married a man by the
name of John Henry Kroontz, age 20, but
was divorced 9 years later.
Between the years 1918 and 1921 Porter
became involved in revolutionary politics in
Mexico, the scene of several of her stories.
In 1922, Porter published a Study Outline of
Mexican Popular Arts and Crafts.
Her first published story was 'María
Concepción', which appeared in Century
magazine in December 1922.
She was married to four different men
during her lifetime.
At one point in her life, Katherine was a
reporter for a weekly newspaper in
Chicago and also a ballad singer.
In 1918 she became very ill and was
expected to die. Her illness lead her
becoming a writer.
During her illness she wrote her famous
piece, “Pale Horse, Pale Rider”. It took her
20 years to complete this work.
After she became well, she went on to study
art in Mexico.
She also became very interested in Mexican
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A List of Works by Katherine Ann Porter
OUTLINE OF MEXICAN POPULAR ARTS AND CRAFTS, 1922
FLOWERING JUDAS, 1930 (enlarged FLOWERING JUDAS AND OTHER STORIES,
NOON WINE, 1937
PALE HORSE, PALE RIDER *, 1939
THE LEANING TOWER AND OTHER STORIES, 1944
THE OLD ORDER, 1944
THE DAYS BEFORE, 1952
A DEFENSE OF CIRCE, 1955
THE OLD ORDER, 1958
THE SHIP OF FOOLS, 1962 -
COLLECTED STORIES OF KATHERINE ANNE PORTER, 1965 (National Book Award;
A CHRISTMAS STORY, 1967
COLLECTED ESSAYS AND OCCASIONAL WRITINGS, 1970
THE NEVER-ENDING WRONG, 1977
MAE FRANKING'S MY CHINESE MARRIAGE: AN ANNOTATED EDITION, 1991
(ghostwritten by Katherine Anne Porter, from Mae Franking's manuscript)
UNCOLLECTED EARLY PROSE OF KATHERINE ANNE PORTER, 1994
KATHERINE ANNE PORTER'S POETRY, 1996 (ed. by Darlene Harbour Unrue)
Katherine Ann Porter only wrote one novel called “Ship of Fools”.
(This work tells the tale of a group of disparate characters sailing from
Mexico to Germany aboard a mixed freighter and passenger ship.)
In the 1950s, Porter published two volumes essays, THE DAYS
BEFORE (1952) and A DEFENSE CIRCE (1954). Her COLLECTED
STORIES (1965) was awarded in 1966 both the Pulitzer Prize and the
National Book Award.
Pale Horse, Pale Rider consisted of three short novels: 'Old Mortality',
'Noon Wine', a study of evil, set on a Texas farm around 1900, and
Pale horse, Pale rider, which tells of a short-lived love affair between a
soldier and a young Southern newspaperwoman during the influenza
epidemic of World War I.
Some of her other famous works are “Flowering Judas” and “María
Concepción”. (“Flowering Judas” established her reputation as a
highly original writer and earned her a Guggenheim grant.
Some authors that influenced her were
Henry James, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, James
Joyce, and W.B. Yeats.
Mexico was also a major influence in
Porter also became a mentor to younger
writers including Eudora Welty, Eleanor
Clark, William Humphrey, and Peter Taylor.
Porter’s novel “Ship of Fools” was later made into a
Ship of Fools was made into a winning film in 1966
and was directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Vivien
Porter spoke out against totalitarianism (a political
system where the state, usually under the control of
a single political organization, faction, or class
domination, recognizes no limits to its authority and
strives to regulate every aspect of public and private
life wherever feasible).
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