From Texas to the World and Back: Essays on the Journeys of Katherine Anne Porter

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Mark Busby, Dick Heaberlin
TCU Press, 2001 - 249 pages
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Katherine Anne Porter's uneasy relationship with her home state has become increasingly important to discussions of her life and work. Born in the now-gone community of Indian Creek and raised in Kyle, Porter is tied to Texas by three major events that occurred during her career.

In 1939 she expected to receive the Texas Institute of Letters Award for "Best Texas Book" only to be insulted when the award went to folklorist J. Frank Dobie. In the 1950s she accepted an invitation to lecture at the University of Texas at Austin. During her visit to present that lecture, Porter began to believe that UT would build a library and name it after her, Texas' most famous literary daughter. But somehow she and UT President Harry Ransom miscommunicated, and Porter left her materials to the McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland. Finally, in 1976 she returned to Texas to receive recognition from Howard Payne University in Brownwood. On that trip she visited her mother's grave in the little cemetery at Indian Creek and decided that her remains on her death belonged beside her mother. So Porter finally returned to the state she had fled early in her life.

The essays in this collection are based primarily upon a symposium held in May 1998 at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. The collection includes essays by both scholars of Porter's work and of Texas literature. Some concern specific aspects of her life, such as her love for her birthday or her marital record. Others focus on the main elements of her relationship with Texas, while still others deal with specific works, often relating them to her Texas heritage. This important addition to Porter studies provides new insight into the ways in which Porter's Texas heritage shaped her life and her fiction.

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Katherine Anne Porter
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About the author (2001)

Mark Busby and Dick Heaberlin are professors of English at Texas State University-San Marcos and co-editors of Texas Books in Review and Southwestern American Literature. Busby is director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest.

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