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Katherine Anne Porter
Transcript of Katherine Anne Porter
1890-1980 early life
Katherine Anne Porter was born on May 15, 1890 in Indian Creek, Texas as Katherine Anne Maria Veronica Callista Russel Porter.
After her mother's death in 1892, Porter's father took his four surviving children (an older brother died at infancy) to live with his mother in Kyle, Texas. After her grandmother's death, when Katherine was 11, the family moved around from town to town in Texas and Louisiana. She was enrolled in free schools wherever the family was living, and for a year in 1904, she attended the Thomas School (private Methodist school). This was her only formal education beyond grammar school. And then.. In 1906, at age sixteen, Katherine married her first husband, John Henry Koontz. However, he was physically abusive and she divorced him three years later. In 1914, Porter escaped to Chicago where she worked briefly as an extra in movies. In 1915, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent two years in sanatoriums, where she decided to become a writer. In 1917, Porter wrote for the Fort Worth Critic, critiquing dramas and writing society gossip. In 1918, while writing for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, she almost died durning the influenza pandemic (Spanish Flu). Between 1920 and 1930, Katherine traveled back and forth between Mexico and New York City and began publishing short stories and essays. (published first short story in 1930 - Judas and Other Stories) She married her second husband, Eugene Pressley in 1933, but he didn't last long either as she divorced him 1938. "I shall try to tell the truth, but the result will be fiction." Within the same year, Katherine married again to Albert Russel Erskine, Jr. They divorced four years later in 1942. Works Short Stories and Collections:
The Jilting of Granny Weatherall
Flowering Judas and Other Stories
The Downward Path to Wisdom
The Leaning Tower
The Leaning Tower and Other Stories
The Last Leaf
A Day's Work
The Old Order
The Fig Tree
The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
Long Stories/Short Novels:
Pale Horse, Pale Rider Novel:
Ship of Fools Essays:
The Necessary Enemy
The Days Before
The Never-Ending Wrong
The Charmed Life
Awards Pulitzer Prize
National Book Award
Gold Medal Award for Fiction
Three nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature
"The quality of her mind and of the stories she told is fearless, steely and lethal to the most widely cherished illusions of the species--our poisonous grip on romance and sel-reard, our panicked insistence on overiflating the bounds of masculiity, femininity, matrimony and percentage. Porter's stories take an aim as accurate and deadly as Nathaniel Hawthorne's, and her prose is leaner, for dissecting deeper. The results are dazzling." -Reynold Price (New York Times Book Review) Quotes by Katherine "Experience is what really happens to you in the long run; the truth that finally overtakes you." "I was right not to be afraid of any thief but myself, who will end by leaving me nothing." "It's a man's world, and you men can have it." "Love must be learned, and learned again; there is no end to it." "One of the marks of a gift is to have the courage of it." "Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning. A Little Criticism And it all comes to an end... Between 1948 abd 1958, she taught at Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas. In 1962, Porter published her only novel "Ship of Fools." In 1966, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for "The Collected Storiies of Katherine Anne Porter." In 1977, Katherine published "The Never-Ending Wrong," an account of the notorious trial and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. On September 18, 1980, in Silver Springs, Maryland, Porter died. She was buried next to her mother in the Indian Creek Cemetery in Texas.