Today in Texas History – May 15

From the Annals of the Writers –  In 1890, Katherine Anne Porter (nee Callie Russell Porter) was born in Indian Creek.  At age two, her family moved to Kyle after the death of her mother in child birth.  They lived with her paternal grandmother Catherine Ann Porter – whose name she later adopted – until her death when KAP was 11.  After that the family moved around Texas and Louisiana.  She received little formal education beyond elementary school but did attend the Thomas School in San Antonio.  She left home at 16 married a well-to-do scion of a ranching family who physically abused her.  They divorced after about a decade and she had her name changed to Katherine Anne Porter in the divorce decree.  After her divorce she spent time in New York and Mexico where she became acquainted with Mexican leftists such as Diego Rivera.  She made her living ghost writing and doing publicity work for movies.  Her first published story was Maria Concepcion in The Century Magazine.  In 1930, she published her first short-story collection,  Flowering Judas and Other Stories.  After an expanded edition of this collection was published in 1935, she began to receive true critical acclaim.   Her only  novel Ship of Fools was a best-seller and the movie rights made her financially independent.  She continued to write short stories including Noon Wine, a collection of short stories set in Central Texas.  Today she widely recognized as a master of the short story genre.   The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter (1965) won the Gold Medal for Fiction from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award.  She died in 1980 and her ashes were buried along side her mother in the Indian Creek cemetery.   She is a must read for all lovers of Texas literature.

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