Katherine Anne Porter Remembered is a collection of reminiscences and memoirs by contemporaries, friends, and associates of Porter offering a revealing and intimate portrait of the elusive and complex American writer. From a fractured and vagabond girlhood in Texas, Porter led a wildly itinerant life that took her through five marriages, innumerable love affairs, and homes in Colorado, New York, Paris, Mexico, Louisiana, California, and Maryland. With very little formal education, she grew through sheer force of will to become a major American writer of short stories and the author of several books including Flowering Judas and other stories; Ship of Fools; Pale Horse; Pale Ride; Noon Wine; and The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Because of Porter's own dissembling and half-truths about her life, as well as the numerous factual errors that persist in biographical entries and literary dictionaries, a complete and accurate portrait of her life has been hard to establish. The 63 reminiscences gathered in this book paint a vivid portrait of Porter and are testaments to her extraordinary beauty, her gift for mesmerizing and charming audiences and friends, her yearnings for a lasting home, her delusions about love, the astonishing range and scope of her reading, her sharp tongue and vindictiveness, and her final paranoid renunciations of friends and family. Along the way, Porter formed friendships with Eudora Welty, Elizabeth Hardwick, Flannery O'Connor, and Cleanth Brooks whose remembrances of her are included in this volume.
Publisher: The University of Alabama Press
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 658 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 33 mm
"Darlene Unrue's collection of reminiscences of Katherine Anne Porter is a marvelous book and its value is absolutely clear: the first-hand accounts of Porter's acquaintances not only fill in biographical gaps of Porter's life but also, even more significantly, give the reader a sense of who Porter really was behind all the masks she wore. It's really a great collection that only gets better as it goes along. The closing entries, describing Porter as she approaches death, are utterly remarkable, wrenching and inspiring at the same time."--Robert Brinkmeyer, author of The Fourth Ghost: White Southern Writers and European Fascism, 1930-1950, Remapping Southern Literature: Contemporary Southern Writers and the West, and Katherine Anne Porter's Artistic Development: Primitivism, Traditionalism, and Totalitarianism
"In this valuable collection, 52 contributors remember Porter (1890-1980) at various stages of her restless life, from her childhood in Texas to her final months in a Maryland nursing home, where a friend sang Pale Horse, Pale Rider to comfort the author as she died. Half of these essays appear here in print for the first time (eight were written specifically for this volume), including transcriptions of interviews conducted by Unrue (Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas) for her excellent biography Katherine Anne Porter: The Life of an Artist (CH, Mar'06, 43-3912a). Many of the reminiscences were originally published in newspapers and literary journals or in autobiographies by such Porter acquaintances as Josephine Herbst, a novelist and activist. Unrue also reprints intriguing letters by Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty, but equally fascinating are accounts by the lawyer and the personal assistant whom Porter fired, victims of the 'oddly selective animosities' that followed her strokes. Unrue divides the reflections into seven chronological parts, beginning with 'Texas and Colorado, 1890-1919' and concluding with 'Texas and Maryland, 1974-1981.' The collection is enhanced by a list of 'additional reminiscences' and by photographs of Porter and many of the contributors. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers."