Porter, Katherine Anne, 1890–1980, American author, b. Indian Creek, Tex., as Callie Russell Porter. Although she published infrequently, she is regarded as a master of the short story. Her first book of stories, Flowering Judas (1930), received immediate recognition and critical acclaim. It was followed by Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939), which includes the superb novella Noon Wine, and The Leaning Tower (1944). Her stories have been praised for their technical accomplishments in matters of style, form, and language. A collection of her essays and occasional pieces appeared as The Days Before (1952). Her only long novel, the best-selling Ship of Fools, was published in 1962 and made into a film three years later. Set aboard a German ship shortly before Hitler's accession to power, the novel is a moral allegory that attempts to recreate the atmosphere of a world on the brink of disaster.
See her Collected Stories (1965; Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award), Katherine Anne Porter: Collected Stories and Other Writings (2008), ed. by D. H. Unrue; I. Bayley, ed., Letters of Katherine Anne Porter (1990); J. Givner, ed., Katherine Anne Porter: Conversations (1987); biographies by J. Givner (1984) and D. H. Unrue (2005); studies by R. Penn Warren (1971), H. Bloom (1986), G. and W. Hendrick (1988), R. H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. (1993), J. P. Stout (1995), D. H. Unrue (1985, 1988, and as ed. 1997), and M. Titus (2005); bibliography by K. Hill (1989).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.