Photograph of American novelist Katherine Anne Porter.

Katherine Anne Porter

(1890 - 1980)

Katherine Anne Porter sailed to Europe for the first time from Veracruz in 1931 with assistance from a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her descriptions in a long letter to a friend of the ship’s motley assemblage of passengers provided the basis of her only novel, Ship of Fools, a best seller published in 1962. For the title and conceit of her sole novel, Porter drew upon Sebastian Brant’s long satirical poem published in 1494, which relates the voyage of some hundred passengers to a fools’ paradise called Narragonia.

All Writing

Imagination continually outruns the creature it inhabits.

—Katherine Anne Porter, 1949

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