• Madison White

A Story a Day #28: Katherine Anne Porter




March 10th, 2020

"Maria Concepcion"

Katherine Anne Porter


A woman named Maria Concepcion is married to a man named Juan. Nearby, there lives an old woman named Lupe and a younger woman named Maria Rosa. One day while walking to market, Maria Concepcion passes Maria Rosa's house and sees her flirting with someone. She then realizes it is her husband. Soon after, Juan and Maria Rosa leave together to join the army. Maria Concepcion continues to live her life and is convinced Juan will return to her. Eventually he does return and Maria Rosa gives birth to a child. Though it is not revealed until later, Maria Concepcion goes off and kills Maria Rosa and goes somewhat mad with happiness. Juan sees her come back crazed and decides to stay with her and respect her. The police come by asking questions about the murder and Juan and the rest of the town back Maria Concepcion's innocence. She then takes the child and decides it is her own.


This story is much longer than most of the other ones in the book. I will admit, it took me a while to come around to what was going on. This book seems to take place in the Southwest United States, although it has some very clear Mexican and indigenous influences. There are very heavy descriptions of the land and superstitions. It seems that the people are very entwined with the land and animals that surround them.


What I liked about this story was how it doesn't give away the ending. It seems obvious that Juan will return but we don't know under what circumstances. It took a while to get into, but after getting on board with the characters and premise, it all came together.

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