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The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  4,372 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Despite the enormous success--both critical and popular--of her novel Ship of Fools, Katherine Anne Porter's reputation as one of America's most distinguished writers rest chiefly on her superb short stories. This volume brings together the collections Flowering Judas; Pale Horse, Pale Rider; and The Leaning Tower as well as four stories not available elsewhere in book for ...more
Paperback, 495 pages
Published September 19th 1979 by Mariner Books (first published 1965)
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Somehow, though I was a literature major, I had never read more than a couple of Porter's stories before something recently triggered my decision to check this collection out of the library. Huge thanks to that something, for I enjoyed the reading thoroughly.

Porter has a poet's ability to describe a gesture, a way of moving, or a scene with similes that make your jaw drop, so precise & unexpected & moving they are. "She watched not the boy, but his shadow, fallen like a dark garment agai
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Granny Weatherall is nearly eighty and she's in bed, surrounded by her children, her doctor and a minister. She's dying. Her mind and senses go from one memory to another, from one sensation to another, thoughts fluttering like distracted butterflies going in all directions, or like a malfunctioning television catching all sorts of signals. Among these, the strongest of all, was one sorrow--the grief which wiped all her other sorrows away-- she was twenty and the love of her life didn't come to ...more
Anne Sanow
KAP is one of my favorite writers, and this collection is a must-read not only for those who appreciate classic 20th-century stylists such as Hemingway and Faulkner but for those who enjoy contemporary multi-layered narratives of, say, Alice Munro. And though Porter is often considered to be a bit formal, there are passages of her writing that lean toward the experimental that she manages to blend beautifully into her storytelling.

This collection has all of Porter's stories, and it's definitely
I have to admire Katherine Ann Porter. So many of her loves died and rejected her, ran away, and deceived her. Somehow she ended up writing truthfully about it. At least I believe her. Her stories do not seem like acts of judgment, since the lovers' sins are not forgiven or changed. Yes, I believe her, because her final relief was to understand it all in a story. What relief? It is only the comfort and joy between reader and author. If I could step back somewhere and propose to Katherine and win ...more
I've been carrying around The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter for almost four decades without reading them, just one of the books I kept passing over as I took them out of shipping boxes in state after state, country after country. Recently I read a memoir by Reynolds Price in which he said that she had written stories of the highest order, equal to Chekhov, Faulkner, Joyce and others. So I went looking for her collected stories in this new house of ours and found them right where I h ...more
Katherine Anne Porter’s novel Ship of Fools (1962) was a sensation at the time, a top best seller that was made into a Hollywood movie with an all-star cast, but today Porter is best remembered and remains influential for her short fiction. Most of it was written in the 1920s and 30s and much of it, like that of her contemporary, Ernest Hemingway, who also didn’t write much more short fiction after the 20s and 30s, was excellent. The Collected Stories (1965) includes all three of her published s ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I read these stories over a period of several weeks, reading a single story at a time or even the longer stories over 2-3 days. A few of the stories are very short, only 3-4 pages, and a few others are more "short novels" being 50+ pages, but most are about 10-20 pages in length. This is a collection of three of her prior publications: Flowering Judas and Other Stories, Pale Horse, Pale Rider, and The Old Order: Stories of the South.

I liked the stories from Flowering Judas better than the other
I had to read this short story for one of my creative writing courses, but it does not really speak to me. Granny is thinking way too much about trivial things while she is on the verge of dying. All will be well, Granny, you can go now.

Perhaps Katherine Anne Porter's other stories are more to my liking, perhaps I'll read something else written by her in the future.
When I bought this at Half Price Books a few weeks ago, the clerk said to me "Katherine Anne Porter is such a good writer that she almost makes up for the rest of Texas." I repeated that comment to my parents later, but they didn't find it quite as amusing as I did.
Baily Volpel
Granny Weatherall is lying sick in bed fighting death from over taking her. Doctor Harry is standing by trying to help her, but she doesn't want his help because she thinks he isn't helping. Cornelia, Granny Weatheralls daughter is standing right next to the bed trying to comfort her mother in her last hour. Then the pastor comes in to give Granny Weatherall her last rights.

Granny Weatherall is a very old lady who has lived a long life by fighting for everything. She is strong willed and doesn't
I'm afraid that Katherine Anne Porter is slowly being forgotten by the American body literary, which is unfortunate because she is witty, observant, and deeply influential. I can't imagine the Just-Like-You-and-Me contemporary American writers without the precedent that Porter set.

Her strongest works are the later ones, everything from the stories contained in "Pale Horse, Pale Rider" forward. In particular, "The Leaning Tower" is an unsung wonderment... 30 pages of American-abroad disenchantmen
Really impressed. I don't think I would have picked this up if I hadn't started on the questionable quest of reading all the Pulitzer winners for fiction. Love the writing.
I tend to not like books of short stories by a single author. Magazines of short stories I like because the type of stories tend to be genre-specific and have varied styles coming from the several contributors. With books of short stories by a single author, you have one style, one voice. If you don't enjoy the style/voice from the outset, it has little chance of improving.

Of this book, I liked and enjoyed only one story: Holiday. Its humor, romp, action, high tension, light moments and sense of
Aug 03, 2015 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
Winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, this is one of the finer collected stories in American fiction. The faith-repudiating "Jilting of Granny Weatherall" is her most famous, but not all follow the same depressing lineage. Most take place in her native Texas and offer a slice of American life in the 30s. "The Leaning Tower" however takes her out of her comfort zone into pre-war Berlin as an American struggles with a changing culture. All in all an impressive collection.
Agnes Mack
This was one of the best collections of short stories I've ever read.

I am not generally a fan of short stories. I like to commit to my literature and short stories tend to feel like a summer fling that was over before Iwas able to analyze it to death and suck all of the fun out it.

Iespecially dislike collections of short stories because even the best authors' voices come through in them. While Itypically like to feel as though Ican hear an author's voice, when it happens during a book of 30 of
Katherine Anne porter wrote 38 short stories. Her collected short stories garnered her a national book award and the Pulitzer prize. Three stars may be too low. About half the stories were superb, close to a 5. Others did nothing for me. She writes best when she sets the stories in Texas where she grew up.where she w,as born in 1890. There is a gothic element in her writing. Several stories center on handicapped children kept in a state of bondage by their families on farms and there is a heartb ...more
I'm not generally a big reader of short stories. I want to like them, but mostly end up feeling sort of dissatisfied & not quite filled up. It's like eating a really nice appetizer & nothing else for dinner - two hours later you're scrounging in the fridge for the peanut butter. I guess I just like a longer read.

There are some writers who work within this genre who stand out for me - James Joyce, Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, Ellen Gilchrist, & Alice Adams. All of these writers h
Albert Kendrick
I was really looking forward forward to this collection of short stories--for quite a while. An award-winning collection. I enjoy short stories. I find them deserving of their own credit completely separate from the novel. I also enjoy learning a bit about the life of an author I am reading. I learned that this collection of short stories was the major achievement of Katherine Anne Porter's literary career and were actually the compilation of three previously published short story collections. K ...more
The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter took the Pulitzer in 1965 if I could give this 3 1/2 stars that would be more accurate. The book is actually split into 3 parts - the first called Flower Judas and Other stories - mostly very short stories -the second 1/3 is Pale Horse, Pale Rider and I made of three longer stories and the third The Leaning Tower and Other stories. The Flowering Judas stories were OK and the reason I can't give it four. None of them really stood out to me all that m ...more
William Young
In this short story Granny Weatherall is very old and is on her deathbed. Her daughter, Cornelia, is comforting her and looking after her.Granny Weatherall is recalling past events in her life.Doctor Harry is trying to comfort and help her but Granny Weatherall thinks he is too young, and she doesn’t want his help.The pastor walks in to comfort Granny Weatherall but she passes away shortly after.

Granny Weatherall, the main character, is sick and on her deathbed. She thinks she isn’t very sick an
It's hard to rank this book, which comprises three collections and runs from the very bad (most of her stories about Mexico) to the extremely good (the long story “Old Mortality”). I advise readers of this book to skip over the first collection, Flowering Judas and Other Stories and proceed straight to Pale Horse, Pale Rider, which is a solid four stars and will give you everything that's good about Porter's writing (lush characterization, amusing plot quirks that yield major epiphanies, inventi ...more
N W James
KAP was recommended to me because I'm such a fan of Flannery O'Connor. I stopped reading this book about 3/4 of the way through. I just wasn't interested. Maybe I'll go back to it later just to say I read it all.

As a writer, she focuses so intently on detailed perceptions that I, as the reader, have a limited sense of the full character. Maybe the writing is too quiet and intricate for my current mind frame. I do know that most of the stories I would finish and then have to go back because i ha
Whenever my sweetheart says "Carveresque," I think of the author standing at the head of a fully-laden Thanksgiving table, long fork and knife in hand, cutting up a manuscript. Talking about short stories the other evening and he suggested Porter's "Rope" as a portrait of a relationship pared down with a super sharp scalpel, and he wasn't kidding -- it's down to the bone. I've got this on my desk now, and will be dipping in. These don't seem like the kind of stories to sit down and read straight ...more
Ray Johns
I had always wanted to read Katherine Anne Porter's short stories since I read her blockbuster novel "Ship of Fools". In this collection, her story "Noon Wine" is my favorite. I don't want to give away the shocking ending to the story,so all I will say is a strange, foreigner drifter handyman wanders out to a struggling Texas farmer's bleak spread and shows why when everything seems so normal then that's the time nothing can be taken for granted . And, I mean Nothing.
The stories move roughly chronologically and the beginning section is filled with stories of scored women that seemed like Elena Ferrante in the early 20th century. As the stories continue though, the expand to stories about families, men and the final story leaves us in dark foreboding of the coming second world war. She was a master of her craft and captures the inner lives of characters as well as the distance stretching between many of them.
May 15, 2014 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
Opening lines:
She flicked her wrist neatly out of Doctor Harry’s pudgy careful fingers and pulled the sheet up to her chin. The brat ought to be in knee breeches. Doctoring around the country with spectacles on his nose! “Get along now. Take your schoolbooks and go. There’s nothing wrong with me.”

You may read online at Bibliokept.
Devin Poore
A contemporary of Faulkner, Hemingway and Welty that never received the adulation she deserved. She wrote two of my favorite stories that deal with amazing subject matter in a wonderfully oblique manner, both of which are in this collection: "Pale Horse, Pale Rider" (a fantastic look at the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918) and "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" (one of my favorite looks at the loss of faith).
Since this was a library book I read it pretty much straight through which I don't recommend for a collection of short stories.
But the author was really a fine writer and her prose is well worth the encounter.
I preferred her Mexican and urban stories over the "local color" of farms and slaves and southern social history.
Susan Fetterer
This is the second volume of National Book Award winning stories selected by my book club for study in 2013. Katherine Anne Porter wrote about places she was familiar with; her stories are set in places she lived. Each story in the collection, which won the prestigious award in 1966, reflects cultural and societal mores of the time and locale, spanning the decades of her writing career. Her language is spare and masterful. Each sentence is maximized for impact, having no excess. Whether the stor ...more
I am rarely a fan of short stories, but found some of these to be very good, and others a little blah. The Latin American context was often surprising, including one that clearly referred to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
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  • The Store
  • The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
  • Guard of Honor
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  • Honey in the Horn
  • The Able McLaughlins
  • Years of Grace
  • Early Autumn: A Story of a Lady
  • Elbow Room
  • Journey in the Dark
  • The Edge of Sadness
  • A Fable
  • The Town
  • Scarlet Sister Mary
  • Dragon's Teeth I (World's End)
  • Now in November
  • Lamb in His Bosom
  • His Family
Katherine Anne Porter was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, and political activist. She is known for her penetrating insight; her works deal with dark themes such as betrayal, death and the origin of human evil.
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