Katherine Anne Porter, a pulitzer prize
winning short story writer and novelist, her most critically acclaimed work is actually her "Collected Stories," published in 1964, rather than her only novel "Ship of Fools
She was born Callie Russell Porter on May 15, 1890, to Harrison and Mary Alice Porter, one of five children. After her mother died in 1892, her father moved the family from his farm in Texas his mother's home near Austin. Her grandmother, Catherine Anne Porter, became a
mother to Harrison's children until she passed away in October 1901. Catherine Anne Porter was an important influence on Callie, who adopted her name in early adulthood.
The family eventually moved to San Antonio, where Katherine attended a private girls school. After this, she never had any formal higher education- she acquired her knowledge through her extensive reading on numerous subjects.
In 1906, Katherine married John Henry Koontz. This was the first of several marriages. Her husband's work-related absences allowed her time to write, and she began to work on many of the poems and stories she had been composing since her youth. She and Koontz divorced in 1915, and shortly after this she learned she had tuberculosis.
In 1917, Porter found a job as a journalist, and worked for several newspapers. While working at The Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado, she almost died of influenza.
After recovering, she returned to the paper and also began writing a number of short stories. These helped her achieve more status in the literary community.
Eugene Pressly, who would eventually become her husband, went on a trip on a ship from Mexico in 1931, and the journal Katherine kept during this journey would eventually be the basis for "Ship of Fools." She and Pressly were married for four years. For a while she lived in Paris and there she produced a number of short stories.
Katherine would later marry Albert Erksine, though the marriage would only last two years. After this she went to live in Yaddo, which was an artists' colony in New York. While there, Katherine gained a positive reputation once "Pale Horse, Pale Rider" was published in 1939.
"Ship of Fools" was a bestseller and was made into a movie in 1965 starring Vivien Leigh and Elizabeth Ashley. "The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter" was published soon after. Katherin's health deteriorated more after the publication. Despite her declining health, she continued to publish work during the last decade of her life. She died on September 18, 1980.