Noon Wine - Overview and background

Noon Wine - Overview and background - Overview: Noon Wine,...

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Overview: Noon Wine, by Katherine Anne Porter Author: Katherine Anne Porter (1894-1980) Genre: Novellas Date: 1937 Biographical – Katherine Anne Porter Callie Russell Porter (who later changed her first name to Katherine Anne) was born in a log cabin in Indian Creek, Texas, in 1890. Her travels of the early 1900s took her from revolution-torn Mexico to Berlin, Germany, to Paris, France. It was not until she moved to Paris in 1933 that she began to make use of her Texas past, returning in fiction to the world of her childhood in Noon Wine . Several decades later, after receiving high acclaim for her novel Ship of Fo ols (1962), Porter won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter (1965). Along with her latest work, the collection included previously released stories such as Noon Wine. Events in History at the Time the Novel Takes Place: Swedish Immigration Although Swedes had been coming to America as early as 1638, the number of new Swedish immigrants swelled between 1868 and 1873 (103,000) and again between 1880 and 1893 (475,000). The exodus of the late 1800s represented about a fourth of Sweden's total population. The primary motive behind this mass emigration from Sweden was overpopulation. In the early 1800s, a sustained period of peace, the introduction of a vaccine for smallpox and increased production of potatoes in Sweden led to a doubling of the population from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. The burden of the resulting labor surplus, and the potato famine that followed in the 1860s, hit Sweden's agrarian sector the hardest. By 1870, almost half of the farm population was landless. Most Swedish immigrants to the United States found work on farms until the 1890s, when the decrease of homesteading and the vanishing of available frontier lands forced roughly a third of them to the cities. Some ambitious individuals had by this time founded colonies of Swedish immigrants in various locations. One instance took place in Texas, where Porter grew up. The rancher S. M. Swenson, an immigrant to Texas, where Noon Wine is set, brought over a group of Swedes to work his land in 1848, and his brother continued to bring over Swedes after the Civil War ended in 1865. By 1910, a few years after the story is set, there were as many as 4,000 Swedish Americans living in the vicinity of Austin, Texas. Here, as elsewhere, Swedish immigrants generally had little trouble getting work, for they were regarded as industrious and physically skilled. The Texas Farmer around 1900 While Noon Wine centers around a family whose income depends on dairy farming, the dominant crop in Texas around the turn of the twentieth century was cotton. The year 1900 saw the state produce 2.5 million bales of cotton, and income from farming was on the rise at the time. It had dropped to desperately low levels during most of the 1890s,
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Noon Wine - Overview and background - Overview: Noon Wine,...

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