The critic Edmund Wilson called Porter’s stories baffling and elusive. These are apt descriptive terms, for Porter’s stories and her single novel do not yield their meaning easily. Yet the experiences narrated are intense, the characters are undeniably human and real, and their feelings are clear and strong. The human spirit is presented in all its variety, and this spirit is not easily described. In her own words, as well as in the comments of many critics, it is just this spirit that Porter’s works are all about, however difficult it is to identify and define.
There are conflicting reports of dates from Katherine Anne Porter’s life, partly because Porter herself was not consistent about her biography. Nevertheless, the main events are fairly clear. Her mother, Mary Alice, died less than two years after Katherine Anne’s birth. Subsequently, her grandmother, Catherine Anne Porter, was the most important adult woman in her life, and after the death of her grandmother in 1901, Katherine Anne was sent away by her father to an Ursuline convent in New Orleans, then in 1904 to the Thomas School for Girls in San Antonio. She ran away from her school in 1906 to marry John Henry Kroontz, the twenty-year-old son of a Texas rancher. She remained with him seven years (some reports say her marriage...
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Katherine Anne Porter was born Callie Russell Porter in Indian Creek, Texas, on May 15, 1890. She was the third of five children born to Harrison and Mary Alice Jones Porter. When her mother died in 1892, she and her brothers and sisters moved to Kyle, Texas, where they were cared for by their paternal grandmother, Catherine Anne Porter. When Grandmother Porter died in 1901, Harrison Porter sold the farm in Kyle and moved with his family to San Antonio.
Facts about Porter’s early life and education have been difficult to substantiate, partly because Porter’s own accounts were evasive or inconsistent. Although her family apparently was Methodist, Porter attended convent schools, possibly for a time in New Orleans,...
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Katherine Anne Porter is an example of the artist who labors through a long life to produce a very few miniatures, which are so finely wrought that they challenge the greatest masterpieces. Indeed, some of her short fiction is among the best ever written. Porter was born in a log cabin in the small village of Indian Creek, near Brownweed, Texas, on May 15, 1890. Her father, a farmer, was shortly thereafter forced to move to southern Texas following the death of her mother.
As a result of this loss, Porter’s education was limited; she received early instruction at home from her grandmother and was then sent to convent schools in Texas and Louisiana. This scant formal training was curtailed by marriage at the age of...
(The entire section is 906 words.)
Katherine Anne Porter was born in Indian Creek, Texas, on May 15, 1890, the daughter of Harrison and Mary Alice Jones Porter. Porter was proud of her descent from Daniel Boone, the brother of her great-great-grandfather. Her mother died in 1892, and the family moved to Kyle, Texas, where she was raised by her grandmother.
She early showed her independent and intrepid spirit. Educated at home and in several convent schools in the South, Porter eloped at sixteen and was divorced at nineteen. The name of her first husband is not known. Her apprenticeship as a writer began with a newspaper job in Chicago, where she also acted small parts in films. In Denver, Colorado, she worked for the Rocky Mountain News and,...
(The entire section is 743 words.)