On the 50th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize in 1966, the award distinguished fiction published in book form was given to The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter. Porter, 76 at the time, was the oldest winner that year. Pulitzer winners receive an invitation to an award dinner, a certificate and a cash prize; contrary to popular belief, only the winner in the Public Service News Organization receives a medal.
The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter brought together all of Porter’s published short stories (26 in total) into a single volume. Renewed interest in Porter’s work came from emerging critics and scholars who praised Porter’s smart yet simple style. As political ideas changed over the years, readers found new meaning in Porter’s explorations of death, femininity, and memory. One critique wrote “Miss Porter’s best stories are so transparent that they disappear as stories, as style, as literature, while leaving the humanity of their pictures wordlessly intact.”* The The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter also won the National Book Award for fiction in 1966.
*Donoghue, D. (1965, November 11). Reconsidering Katherine Anne Porter. The New York Review. https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1965/11/11/reconsidering-katherine-anne-porter
You can explore digitized letters by Katherine Anne Porter’s online in the online exhibit Katherine Anne Porter: Correspondence from the Archives, 1912-1977.
Browse the finding aid to the Katherine Anne Porter papers to learn more about Porter’s hobbies and manuscripts!
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.