Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
Before Raymond Carver, John Cheever, and Richard Ford, there was Sherwood Anderson, who, with Winesburg, Ohio, charted a new direction in American fiction--evoking with lyrical simplicity quiet moments of epiphany in the lives of ordinary men and women. In a bed, elevated so that he can peer out the window, an old writer contemplates the fluttering of his heart and considers, as if viewing a pageant, the inhabitants of a small midwestern town. Their stories are about loneliness and alienation, passion and virginity, wealth and poverty, thrift and profligacy, carelessness and abandon. "Nothing quite like it has ever been done in America," wrote H. L. Mencken. "It is so vivid, so full of insight, so shiningly life-like and glowing, that the book is lifted into a category all its own."
With Commentary by Sherwood Anderson, Rebecca West, and Hart Crane.
About the Author
Winesburg, Ohio By Sherwood Anderson Sherwood Anderson (September 13, 1876 - March 8, 1941) was an American novelist and short story writer, known for subjective and self-revealing works. Self-educated, he rose to become a successful copywriter and business owner in Cleveland and Elyria, Ohio. In 1912, Anderson had a nervous breakdown that led him to abandon his business and family to become a writer. At the time, he moved to Chicago and was eventually married three more times. His most enduring work is the short-story sequence Winesburg, Ohio, which launched his career. Throughout the 1920s, Anderson published several short story collections, novels, memoirs, books of essays, and a book of poetry. Though his books sold reasonably well, Dark Laughter (1925), a novel inspired by Anderson's time in New Orleans during the 1920s, was the only bestseller of his career.
John Updike's novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal. He died of lung cancer in 2009, at age 75.
"When he calls himself a 'poor scribbler' don't believe him. He is not a poor scribbler . . . he is a very great writer."--Ernest Hemingway
"Winesburg, Ohio, when it first appeared, kept me up a whole night in a steady crescendo of emotion."--Hart Crane
"As a rule, first books show more bravado than anything else, unless it be tediousness. But there is neither of these qualities in Winesburg, Ohio. . . . These people live and breathe: they are beautiful."--E. M. Forster
"Winesburg, Ohio is an extraordinarily good book. But it is not fiction. It is poetry."--Rebecca West