1966 -- The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter

To part is to die a little, it is said (in every language that I can read), but my farewell to these stories is a happy one, a renewal of their life, a prolonging of their time under the sun, which is what any artist most longs for—to be read, and remembered.
Go little book….

—the closing lines of Katherine Anne Porter’s Introduction to her Collected Stories

Katherine Anne Porter’s biographers do not portray an unambitious woman at peace with her accomplishment. Several weeks after she failed to win the 1963 National Book Award for Ship of Fools, Porter wrote to her nephew from Italy to say that, though her publisher was “ecstatic with rage,” she had predicted as much, and more:

I am now trying to explain to S. why I am not going to be given any more awards, grants, prizes in that country, probably in my whole life: Too many people who have resented me for years are getting into the act. And I myself think I have had my share of love and praise and fine criticism, and must expect a reaction, especially when I hit a million-dollar jackpot, as I have: the kind of people who hate my writing, and my reputation, are joined by the people who hate my having that money—it makes quite a mob. I find it exhilarating, probably because I know that no thing, nobody can harm me, or take away what I have. Her Collected Stories received not only the 1966 NBA but the Pulitzer, and that year she was also admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

advertisement
Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.