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This Strange, Old World and Other Book Reviews by Katherine Anne Porter Paperback – 1 Dec 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (1 Dec 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820333530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820333533
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm

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Review

"The subject matter covers a wide range of topics, including travel, fiction, Mexican history and politics, feminism, and related issues. The reviews, interesting in themselves, provide additional insights into Porter's own life and works. Editor Unrue provides a nice introduction, which places the reviews and surrounding events in Porter's life in the proper context."--"Library Journal"

About the Author

Darlene Harbour Unrue is a distinguished professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has written six books on Katherine Anne Porter. Unrue's most recent work, a biography of Porter titled "Katherine Anne Porter: The Life of an Artist," won the 2005 Eudora Welty Prize for Excellence in Modern Letters.

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Amazon.com: 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Rare reviews, written with grace and wit 31 July 2009
By M. Bromberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The writing of Katherine Anne Porter has slipped out of literary fashion these days -- her sharply-drawn observations and difficult, flawed characters aren't the easy stuff of today's contemporary fiction. Her one major novel, "Ship of Fools," was published more than 45 years ago and won the Pulitzer Price in 1962. Her short stories are seldom anthologized, but they are gems of beauty and precision. This collection of published reviews shows Miss Porter, not surprisingly, was just as conscientious and thoughtful about the craft of her fellow authors as she was of her own writing.

Although most of the books Miss Porter reviewed were not considered major works, their issues were of obvious interest to her as a writer: history, travel, culture (especially of Mexico), independent women discovering their social and economic equality in American society.

It's a rare treat to read criticism that enhances and illuminates its subjects with such grace and style. There are nice touches of wit, too, without being cruel, even with authors that may undoubtedly deserve it. "Utopias are steadily on the decline," Miss Porter comments on one author's conclusion that the solution to the rise of feminist ideas is a return to "good, old-fashioned, romantic, hearty masculinity." She finds an equal target in Catherine the Great of Russia: "Female despots in the making do not suffer from a mother fixation," she writes in a witty review emphasizing Catherine's political -- and marriage -- ambitions.

These brief reviews, written mainly on deadline, still echo the finely crafted style of Miss Porter's short stories. They also require the reader to read between the lines; much is implied. But they manage to be entertaining and worthwhile, years later, and anyone interested in Katherine Anne Porter should not miss reading them.
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