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The leaning tower and other stories (Laurel…

The leaning tower and other stories (Laurel edition) (original 1944; edition 1944)

by Katherine Anne Porter

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901203,165 (4.17)1
Title:The leaning tower and other stories (Laurel edition)
Authors:Katherine Anne Porter
Info:New York, Dell Publishing. "By arrangement with Harcourt, Brace and World." Second Printing—December 1963.
Collections:Your library
Tags:short stories, american, 20c, fiction, southern

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The Leaning Tower and Other Stories by Katherine Anne Porter (1944)



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I first heard of Porter from the blurb of Flannery O'Connor's Everything That Rises and it turns out she was a huge influence on Carson McCullers and O'Connor (among others I'm sure). From this collection, I can certainly see why and how.

There is a true feeling of craft behind each story. Like every great artist, Porter makes it look effortless and natural on the surface but rest assured that she is fully in control of every word and every phrase.

What I admired the most is how she managed to capture the complexities of a person through their interactions and relationships. And there is definitely something to be said about her astuteness in correctly assessing the European atmosphere of the early 30s in the title story. Porter is essentially like a human camera with a real eye for reading the room/gauging a person/capturing the zeitgeist.

My favourite story overall was The Old Order, which is the best of the connected stories in the collection (with some outstanding standalone stories too). It did the most amazing thing of making the Grandmother this fully-realised person of contradictions with her own ideas whilst still remaining a product of her time.

As she writes with such details and insights on her characters, I look forward to reading her character-driven novel that I also got recently, Ship of Fools. ( )
  kitzyl | Jun 6, 2018 |
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Once a year, in early summer, after school was closed and the children were to be sent to the farm, the Grandmother began to long for the country.
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