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Pale Horse, Pale Rider (HBJ Modern Classic) Hardcover – June 18, 1990
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"Most good stories are about the interior of our lives, but Katherine Anne Porter's stories take place there," said Eudora Welty. "They show surface only at her choosing."
Pale Horse, Pale Rider comprises three of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author's short novels or long stories, as Porter--who didn't hold with the term "novella"--called her pieces. In the masterly "Noon Wine," set on a Texas farm circa 1900, she offers an unforgettable study of evil. According to Reynolds Price the tale "can stand shoulder to shoulder with anything in Tolstoy or Chekhov." Both "Old Mortality" and the title story center on Porter's fictional counterpart, Miranda: a resilient Southern heroine who, as Mary Gordon observed, is in "the precarious position of a woman who must earn her way with no one behind her to break her fall."
"Many of Katherine Anne Porter's stories are unsurpassed in modern fiction," said Robert Penn Warren. "Miss Porter has the power that Chekhov or Frost or Ibsen, or sometimes Pound, has, the power to make the common thing glow with an Eden-like innocence." And The Saturday Review stated, "Porter moves in the illustrious company headed by Hawthorne, Flaubert, and Henry James."
--The Modern Library has played a
significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century.
The series was founded in 1917 by
the publishers Boni and Liveright
and eight years later acquired by
Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editons of impor-tant works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House
redesigned the series, restoring
as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard
in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.--With an Introduction by Elizabeth Hardwick. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I thought Flannery O'Connor had ruined all other southern short fiction writers for me, but Porter meets O'Connor's deft character portraits, with their keen knowledge of mannerisms and their psychological depth, as well as O'Connor's ability to surprise the reader with moments of recognition: Miranda's girlhood experience feels like my girlhood experience, across generations and geography. Even Mr. Thompson's story feels like it could have happened in one's own family, like the story grandparents and great aunts and uncles half-tell and subtly refer to while the turkey roasts in the oven and everyone steals nuts off the pecan pie.
I agree with others who are astonished that this book is not part of the literary canon in the U.S. It is a stunning, gorgeous example of short fiction. With the impenetrable heaps of "literary fiction" from contemporary writers, marketed to ridiculous heights, I'm finding old gems like this one soothing to my constantly inundated reader's mind. Read it. And writers, take note.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a student majoring in American and English literature I never read much Katherine Anne Porter, or other southern female writers. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Elizabeth Mossbarger
a different kind of classic......... great details in story held my interestPublished 1 month ago by Victoria Moorhread
Bought a college class. Arrived on time and was exactly what the class required Great pricePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Porter was a treasure, and if you are unfamiliar with her work, this is a good place to start.Published 11 months ago by Sam D. Maloney
These three longer short stories telling the mysteries of living and dying represent Porter at her best. They are gems.Published 12 months ago by David
Required for my American Lit class. I wasn't intrigued or interested at all.Published 12 months ago by I Am Her
Great short stories, especially Pale Horse, about Kathrine's near death after contracting the Spanish Flu in 1917.Published 13 months ago by Roger