Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter's long life and career encompassed several eras. Her first success, the story "Flowering Judas" (1929), was set in Mexico during the revolution. The beautifully crafted short stories that gained her renown subtly unveil personal lives. "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall," for example, conveys large emotions with precision. Often she reveals women's inner experiences and their dependence on men.

Porter's nuances owe much to the stories of the New Zealand- born story writer Katherine Mansfield. Porter's story collections include Flowering Judas (1930), Noon Wine (1937), Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939), The Leaning Tower (1944), and Collected Stories (1965). In the early 1960s, she produced a long, allegorical novel with a timeless theme -- the responsibility of humans for each other. Titled Ship of Fools (1962), it was set in the late 1930s aboard a passenger liner carrying members of the German upper class and German refugees alike from the Nazi nation.

Not a prolific writer, Porter nonetheless has influenced generations of authors, among them her southern colleagues Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor.