Sherwood Anderson

A picture of the author Sherwood Anderson

Sherwood Anderson (Sept 13, 1876 - March 8, 1941) was an American writer. Like a number of other famous writers (Chekhov, Dickens, Alcott, etc), Sherwood's childhood and adolescence knew family hardship. When his father's business failed, the family moved around a lot and his mother began to drink heavily. As a result of these hardships, Anderson left school at the age of fourteen in order to help with the family finances.

As a writer he is widely known for his short stories, particularly the collection published as Winesburg, Ohio. While that book is not without critics, it will always be a favorite of mine. I was a willing reader and bought into every character and every sketch narrator George Willard spun. In a tribute to Anderson's talents, I also recall being acutely aware of the author's control as I read through the stories and afterward I may have spent as much time thinking about the man who wrote them as the stories themselves. While there will always be many things we cannot know about a writer like Anderson, we can be certain that he was a man capable of writing with great empathy.

If you have not read Winesburg, Ohio, I encourage you to do so.