Mississipi and Magnolia flower icon

Katherine Anne Porter's Birthday- May 15, 1890

Posted on

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 4:02pm


Jennifer Ford

Born on May 15,1890, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Katherine Anne Porter was not a Mississippian but a native Texan. However, she championed one of Mississippi's most celebrated authors, Eudora Welty, helping to propel her early career. Porter took notice of the young Mississippi author after the publication of the short story "Death of A Traveling Salesman" in 1936. She served as one of Welty's mentors in these early years and this relationship evolved into a lasting friendship. In 1941 Porter penned her famous introduction to Welty's first critical work, A Curtain of Green, and asserted "there is even in the smallest story a sense of power in reserve which makes me believe firmly that, splendid beginning that it is, it is only the beginning."

Porter's awards included not only the Pulitzer in 1966 for The Collected Stories but also the National Book Award the same year. She also received three nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature during her lifetime. She wrote six short story compilations, two works of nonfiction, several works published posthumously, and is perhaps best known for her 1962 novel, Ship of Fools.

Featured below is the cover of the promotional booklet, Eudora Welty: A Note on the Author and Her Work by Katherine Anne Porter Together With the Key, One of Seventeen Stories from Miss Welty's forthcoming A Curtain of Green held in the rare book collection of the University of Mississippi's Department of Archives & Special Collections.  Released in 1941, this pre-publication advertising pamphlet for A Curtain of Green includes Katherine Anne Porter's "Introduction" and Welty's "The Key."

"The Key" Eudora Welty pre-publication pamphlet