Sherwood Anderson

Easton Press Sherwood Anderson books

Winesburg, Ohio - Library of the World's Best Short Stories

Franklin Library Sherwood Anderson books

Winesburg, Ohio - 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature - 1976
Winesburg, Ohio - Greatest Books of the Twentieth Century - 1978
Winesburg, Ohio - Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers - 1980

Sherwood Anderson biography

Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941), was an American author, born in Camden Ohio. He left school at the age of fourteen and worked at various odd jobs until 1898, when he joined the U.S. Army. He served in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. After the war Sherwood Anderson returned to Ohio and found employment as the manager of a paint factory. Though highly successful, He found the position monotonous. Sherwood Anderson left it abruptly in 1916 and went to Chicago, where he began to do creative writing. His work won praise from prominent American authors of the day, notably Theodore Dreiser, Carl Sandburg, and Ben Hecht. Sherwood Anderson wrote two novels and a volume of verse between 1916 and 1918, but his talent was not widely recognized until the publication (1919) of the collection of short stories Winesburg, Ohio, which deals with the instinctive, if inarticulate, struggle of ordinary people to assert their individuality in the face of standardization imposed by the machine age.
Anderson's most renowned work is Winesburg, Ohio is a collection of interconnected short stories published in 1919. In this work, Anderson painted a vivid portrait of the inhabitants of a fictional town, delving into their inner lives, frustrations, and aspirations. The candid exploration of human emotions and the impact of societal constraints marked Winesburg, Ohio as a groundbreaking and influential work in American literature.

Before gaining literary acclaim, Sherwood Anderson had a diverse career, working in various jobs, including advertising and business. His experiences in the corporate world and observations of everyday life provided him with rich material for his writing. The shift from a successful business career to a focus on literature came after a nervous breakdown in 1912, prompting Anderson to reassess his life and pursue his passion for writing. Apart from Winesburg, Ohio, Anderson wrote several novels and short story collections, including Poor White (1920), Many Marriages (1923), and Dark Laughter (1925). His writing style was characterized by a deep psychological insight into his characters and an exploration of the impact of societal norms on individual lives.
Hands by Sherwood Anderson  is part of the collection of interconnected short stories titled Winesburg, Ohio, published in 1919. The story is often considered a modernist classic and a significant work in American literature.

Hands by Sherwood Anderson summary

In Hands, the protagonist is Wing Biddlebaum, a reclusive and eccentric teacher living in the small town of Winesburg. Biddlebaum is known for his peculiar habit of nervously wringing his hands. The story delves into Biddlebaum's past and the events that led to his isolation and anxiety. Wing Biddlebaum was once a teacher in Pennsylvania, known as Adolph Myers. He had a different life until an incident with a young boy, misunderstanding his intentions while showing affection, led to accusations and forced him to leave his job and change his identity.

The story explores themes of isolation, the impact of society's judgments, and the consequences of misunderstanding and alienation. Biddlebaum's character is deeply human and sympathetic, reflecting Anderson's interest in the complexities of small-town life and the struggles of its inhabitants. Hands is often praised for its psychological insight, character depth, and its contribution to the broader narrative structure of Winesburg, Ohio, where various characters' stories intertwine to create a composite portrait of the town and its people.

Sherwood Anderson's literary influence extended beyond his own works. He mentored and inspired a generation of writers, including William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway, who acknowledged Anderson's impact on their own writing styles. Anderson's emphasis on capturing the nuances of ordinary lives and his departure from traditional narrative structures left an indelible mark on American literature. Tragically, Sherwood Anderson passed away on March 8, 1941, at the age of 64, but his legacy as a pioneering figure in American literature endures, and his contributions continue to be studied and appreciated for their lasting impact on the literary landscape.
Noted for his poetic realism, psychological insight, and sense of the tragic, Sherwood Anderson helped also to establish a simple, consciously naive short-story style.

Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio, a groundbreaking work of American literature published in 1919, stands as a timeless exploration of the human condition and the complexities of small-town life in rural America. Through a series of interconnected short stories, Anderson paints a vivid portrait of the residents of Winesburg, capturing their hopes, dreams, and struggles with remarkable insight and empathy. Anderson drew upon his own experiences growing up in the American heartland to infuse Winesburg, Ohio with an authenticity and depth that resonates with readers to this day. As a prolific writer and influential figure in the American literary scene of the early 20th century, Anderson's keen observations and keen understanding of human nature shine through in each of the book's vignettes.

At the heart of Winesburg, Ohio lies the character of George Willard, a young reporter for the local newspaper who serves as a witness to the lives of the town's inhabitants. Through George's encounters with figures such as the disillusioned Dr. Reefy, the restless Louise Bentley, and the enigmatic Wing Biddlebaum, Anderson delves into themes of loneliness, alienation, and the search for connection in a world marked by isolation and despair. Anderson's prose is spare yet evocative, imbuing each story with a sense of depth and poignancy that lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned. His ability to capture the inner lives of his characters with such clarity and compassion elevates Winesburg, Ohio beyond mere fiction, transforming it into a haunting meditation on the human condition and the universal desire for understanding and acceptance.

As readers journey through the streets of Winesburg, they are confronted with the raw emotions and hidden desires that lurk beneath the surface of everyday life. Anderson's unflinching portrayal of small-town America exposes the cracks in the facade of rural tranquility, revealing the darkness and complexity that lies beneath. Winesburg, Ohio remains a landmark achievement in American literature, celebrated for its profound insight, lyrical prose, and timeless portrayal of the human experience. Through its pages, Sherwood Anderson invites readers to explore the depths of the human soul and discover the beauty and tragedy that lies at the heart of every life.

Sherwood Anderson quotes

"The object of art is not to make salable pictures. It is to save yourself."
"The thing of course, is to make yourself alive. Most people remain all of their lives in a stupor."
"It is not difficult to write understandingly of the people of Winesburg, Ohio, but it is impossible to do so without love and affection."
"Dare to be strong and courageous. That is the road. Venture anything."
"Only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples."
"There is this thing called life. We live it, not as we intend or wish, but as we are driven on by forces outside and inside ourselves."
"The lives of people are like young trees in a forest. They are being choked by climbing vines. The vines are old thoughts and beliefs planted by dead men."
"I wanted to run away from everything but I wanted to run towards something too."
"A man needs a purpose for real health."

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