‘There is within every human being a deep well of thinking over which a heavy iron lid is kept clamped…”
A masterwork of intricate creation, Winesburg, Ohio* is Sherwood Anderson's brilliant series of short stories concerning life in a small Ohio town at the end of the nineteenth century, structured around the life of protagonist George Willard, from the time he was a child to his growing independence and ultimate abandonment of Winesburg as a young man.
George Willard is a young reporter who becomes the confidant of the town's 'grotesques'— solitary figures unable to communicate with others. George is their conduit for expression and solace from loneliness.
Played out against the deceptively placid backdrop of Winesburg, Anderson's connected stories coalesce like chapters, into a powerful novel of love and loss.
SHERWOOD ANDERSON (1876-1941) was an American novelist and short story writer. His influence upon later American writers has been enormous. Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner both praised him as a writer who brought a new sense of feeling to the American short story. As Faulkner put it, Anderson's "was the fumbling for exactitude, the exact word and phrase within the limited scope of a vocabulary controlled and even repressed by what was in him almost a fetish of simplicity … to seek always to penetrate to thought's uttermost end."
"If he touches you once he takes you, and what he takes he keeps hold of; his work becomes part of your thought and parcel of your spiritual furniture forever." So it is, for me and many others, with Sherwood Anderson.”
*The Modern Library ranked Winesburg, Ohio 24th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.