Books: Notes of a Survivor

THE COLLECTED ESSAYS AND OCCASIONAL WRITINGS OF KATHERINE ANNE PORTER. 496 pages. Lawrence-Delacorte. $12.50.

They live still with morning freshness in my memory, their clearness, warmth of feeling, calmness of intelligence; in short the sense of an artist at work in whom one could have complete confidence.

Katherine Anne Porter is praising the short stories of Willa Gather, but the lines could be used without revision to describe some of her own small classics. Noon Wine (1937), a short novel, recounts a stark frontier tragedy of murder and remorse as muted and inevitable as...

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