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The Old Order: Stories of the South

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  158 Ratings  ·  14 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
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Kirk Smith
I was looking for something a bit nostalgic and this was a great choice. A couple of the first stories were about large matriarchal families and those seemed to be my favorites. I don't know why but I always find hard working indomitable women amusing! I have to admire because I could never hold up to that kind of work load. K.A. Porter really knows how to compose a short story and ends each one with a nice flourish.
Kirk
Jan 23, 2008 Kirk rated it really liked it
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
M.J. Fiori
The story "Old Mortality" holds a position of honor even in my short story Hall of Fame. It's a story 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 uncomprehending childho ...more
Perrystroika
Oct 03, 2011 Perrystroika rated it it was amazing
Shelves: by-women
"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.
Matthew
Mar 19, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: texana, louisiana
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
...more
Connie Knight
May 25, 2013 Connie Knight rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Michael
Aug 09, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
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
Dan
Dec 04, 2007 Dan rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 29, 2013 Andrew Wright rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
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.
Mike
Sep 28, 2007 Mike rated it it was amazing
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.
Cindy
May 17, 2009 Cindy rated it it was ok
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
Jul 16, 2012 Mark Franks rated it it was amazing


Old Mortality stills astounds me with its brilliant subtlety. I think Porter spent a year or so writing each sentence.
Diane Mueller
Oct 27, 2014 Diane Mueller rated it really liked it
I enjoy Katherine Porter short stories. They take you back to a different time. Knowing her history I always think I see a bit of Porter in her stories.
Janean
Jul 09, 2016 Janean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought an old paperback copy of this book at Weller Books in Salt Lake City. It smells so good. It's like inhaling the past.
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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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherin...
More about Katherine Anne Porter...

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