Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Old Order: Stories of the South” as Want to Read:
The Old Order: Stories of the South
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Old Order: Stories of the South

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A number of Porter’s finest stories have their setting in the South at the turn of the century. The Old Order brings these together in a single volume, including six stories from The Leaning Tower, three stories from Flowering Judas, and the short novel “Old Mortality” from Pale Horse, Pale Rider.
Paperback, 180 pages
Published August 4th 1955 by Mariner Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Old Order, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Old Order

The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles DickensOld Yeller by Fred GipsonArsenic and Old Lace by Joseph KesselringOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. EliotThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Any Old Thing
25th out of 116 books — 26 voters
Macbeth by William ShakespeareThe Odyssey by HomerHamlet by William ShakespeareThe Iliad by HomerRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
Great Books: No Novels Need Apply
166th out of 202 books — 68 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 241)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Scrambling to finish this one before tomorrow night's class. Oddly, I'd already read most of these stories in their original collections, so I knew "Granny Weatherall," "The Old Order," and "Old Mortality" already. Loving "He," "Magic" and some of the smaller Old Order pieces ("The Grave"). (Side note: As the editor of the modern volume of the Heath Anthology of Am Lit, I decided to shake up the Porter selections and axe "Granny" in favor of "He." Some teachers will hate the change, but I worry ...more
My affair with Katherine Anne Porter has been going on for some time now, and I revisit her stories more than any other author.

This collection is like a weird mixtape where someone chooses to focus on a certain tone of a particular artist. All of the stories are excellent, but they don't present you with all Porter can achieve and only a handful of them are her at her absolute best. Because of this, it's not a good introduction for her, I feel.

The best introduction is 'Pale Horse, Pale Rider', a
M.J. Fiori
The story "Old Mortality" holds a position of honor even in my short story Hall of Fame. It's a story something I come back to again and again, year after year. In terms of both length and structure, it's really more of a novella. Having read all of KAP's stories (and the shockingly shite novel 'Ship of Fools'), I have to consider it her quiet masterpiece. Another story that had haunted me for decades is "The Grave," which somehow contains in itself all the mysteries and horrors of uncomprehendi ...more
Connie Knight
The Old Order: Stories of the South by Katherine Anne Porter is a book that I've read many times, although not recently until this time. It's a collection of short stories and a novella. The first six stories and the novella, all put together, depict a family's life on a farm in Texas from 1885-1912, mostly as seen through the eyes of children Maria and Miranda as they grow up.

Katherine Anne Porter's superb writing style, her ability to create characters, and to explore the depth of life through
Though I've never read any Katherine Anne Porter, other than something in a literature anthology in a seminar as an undergrad, from what I can gather from a recent article in Harper's this collection of short stories is not representative of the rest of her work. Dealing mostly with various dying families of the south, mostly Texas, this collection reads like a Nine Stories/Franny and Zooey for a very different sort of America. The skeletons in the closets of these folks are far more moldy and r ...more
Dec 22, 2007 Dan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: stories
This was my first exposure to anything Porter, and I found it fantastic. It's easy (and lazy) to throw around Faulkner and O'Connor comparisons, but even when Porter is dealing with casual racism, generation gaps, family legacies, and stream-of-consciousness, she still feels like no one but herself. That so many of these pieces visit the same extended family, examining it from many points of view and revealing richer details each time, is just icing.
Andrew Wright
I don't know why more people don't talk about or read Katherine Anne Porter. This was a tremendously powerful, interwoven series of stories firmly set in the Southern Gothic tradition. The lengthy Old Mortality is by far the strongest of the stories, and is a kind of Sound and the Fury light.

Blood, sex, slavery, honor, purity, the past. All the gem themes of Southern Lit show up in here, and are handled quite deftly.
I am actually giving this five stars for the bitterly funny story "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" -- the King Lear-like title character's pinched nihilism is literally and figuratively breathtaking.
"old mortality", "pale horse, pale rider", and "the jilting of granny weatherall" are three of the most perfect, unforgettable works of fiction I have ever read.
More character study than short stories, which makes Ship of Fools make even more sense. Great sense of place and time. Weak plot, always. Generally no plot.
Mark Franks

Old Mortality stills astounds me with its brilliant subtlety. I think Porter spent a year or so writing each sentence.
Erica Schrag
Erica Schrag marked it as to-read
Dec 25, 2014
Kathryn marked it as to-read
Dec 22, 2014
Samreen marked it as to-read
Nov 27, 2014
Kirk Smith
Kirk Smith marked it as to-read
Nov 26, 2014
Mary marked it as to-read
Nov 12, 2014
Marty Elrod
Marty Elrod marked it as to-read
Oct 28, 2014
Diane Mueller
Diane Mueller marked it as to-read
Oct 27, 2014
Cheryl marked it as to-read
Oct 25, 2014
Linda marked it as to-read
Oct 13, 2014
Kari Snyder
Kari Snyder marked it as to-read
Oct 10, 2014
Connie marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2014
Leigh marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2014
Ashley marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2014
Oluseyi Adeosun
Oluseyi Adeosun marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2014
Abigail Alden
Abigail Alden marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
cameron marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Brownsville: Stories
  • Thirteen Stories
  • Later the Same Day
  • Farewell, I'm Bound to Leave You: Stories
  • Chemistry and Other Stories
  • Machiavelli: Selected Political Writings
  • Absalom and Achitophel
  • Runner's World The Runner's Diet: The Ultimate Eating Plan That Will Make Every Runner (and Walker) Leaner, Faster, & Fitter
  • How to Work for an Idiot: Survive & Thrive-- Without Killing Your Boss
  • The Whack-Job Girls
  • The Collected Stories of Peter Taylor
  • The Case of the Calendar Girl
  • The Half-Mammals of Dixie
  • Blackberries, Blackberries
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories to Be Read with the Door Locked
  • The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy
  • Road Song: A Memoir
  • The Collected Stories
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.
See also
More about Katherine Anne Porter...
The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter Pale Horse, Pale Rider Ship of Fools Flowering Judas Noon Wine

Share This Book