The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter by Katherine Anne Porter

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Summary

(Society and Self, Critical Representations in Literature)

The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter is a compilation of Katherine Anne Porter’s finest short stories and short novels. The collection, first published in 1965, brings together work from three previous collections and four stories not available elsewhere in book form. In 1966, Porter received a Pulitzer Prize in fiction and a National Book Award for The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter.

The first section contains the stories from Flowering Judas and Other Stories (1930). Included in this section are stories such as “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” “Theft,” and “Flowering Judas.” Many stories in this section are set in Mexico. “María Concepción,” the first story in the section, is one of these stories. In “María Concepción,” the classic struggle between the “traditional” woman and the “new” woman is carried on in the Mexican countryside, where the people are poor and are continually threatened by war. María Concepción, a woman who is honest and a loyal supporter of traditions, triumphs over María Rosa, an aggressive woman who makes a nuisance of herself by ignoring convention. The primitive Mexican setting in “María Concepción” and the other Mexico stories highlights the brutality and irony of the human condition.

Three longer pieces, “Old Mortality,” “Noon Wine,” and “Pale Horse, Pale Rider,” constitute the second section. “Old Mortality” and “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” are about Miranda, Porter’s autobiographical heroine who figures prominently in many of her stories. The child Miranda is the central character of “Old Mortality”; “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” is about the adult Miranda. “Noon Wine” is less autobiographical, and its focus is less limited. The main characters are the Thompson family, and the theme of this work concerns their efforts to cope with evil. These three works were originally collected under the title Pale Horse, Pale Rider: Three Short Novels (1939).

The third section is “The Leaning Tower and Other...

(The entire section is 486 words.)