The ABCs of Katherine Anne Porter: N is for…

New Year and Noon Wine!

Happy New Year! We are back learning about the life and works of Katherine Anne Porter through the alphabet!

Noon Wine is a short novel by Katherine Anne Porter, originally published as a stand alone in 1937, then again two years later as included in the trio of works in Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939). When writing Noon Wine, Porter drew inspiration from an incident in her childhood and her interactions with seasonal crop workers to write the tale. Set in South Texas, Noon Wine follows farmer Royal Earle Thompson, his family, and farmhand Olaf Helton. Themes of morality, the outsider, and guilt are among the many ways readers can examine the characters and events of Noon Wine. Like much of her fiction, Porter delves into the complexity of the human experience and memory in a way that highlights the power and sensitivity of storytelling within the literary modernism genre.

The story was adapted into a radio episode of NBC University Theatre in 1948. In 1966, the story was turned into a made-for-TV movie, with Porter collaborating on the script. The movie was a success and nominated for Best Movie Adaptation by the Writers Guild. In 1985, PBS adapted the short novel again for American Playhouse.

You can view digitized letters by Katherine Anne Porter’s online in the online exhibit Katherine Anne Porter: Correspondence from the Archives, 1912-1977.

If you are on the University of Maryland campus, you can access our digital collections and listen to Porter read Noon Wine!

Mattie Lewis is a student in the Masters of Library and Information Sciences program and Graduate Assistant with the Katherine Anne Porter Collection at UMD.

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