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Sherwood Anderson


Sherwood Anderson was born in 1876 in Camden, Ohio. His father sold leather harnesses. When his father’s business failed, the family moved from town to town in Ohio, finally settling in Clyde in 1884. His father started drinking heavily. Anderson took on a variety of jobs to help support his family. His mother died in 1895 and, the following year, he moved to Chicago, following his brother Karl, where he worked in a cold storage warehouse for two years, before joining the army to fight in the Spanish-American War. His regiment did not arrive in Cuba till four months after the end of fighting. After army service he again followed Karl, this time to Springfield, Ohio. After completing his studies, he became an advertising copywriter, a profession at which he was very successful. In 1904, he married the first of his four wives, the daughter of a successful businessman. He himself became a successful businessman, all the while dreaming of becoming a writer.

In November 1912, he left his home one day and was not seen for four days, turning up in a clear stage of shock, having suffered a mental breakdown. He gave up his business and returned to advertising but now was more than ever determined to give up business to become a writer. In 1914 he divorced and remarried. Two years later he published his first novel. At this time he had essentially written Winesburg, Ohio, though it would not be published till 1919. Though not really a novel but more a series of connected stories, it became his most famous work.

In 1924, he moved to New Orleans with his third wife and got to know other writers, including Faulkner (who portrayed him as Dawson Fairchild in his Mosquitoes), Hemingway and others. After divorcing and remarrying for the final time, he travelled with his fourth wife. They settled in Virginia. His writing was far less influential in this late stage. He died in Panama from peritonitis in 1941, after swallowing a toothpick.

Books about Sherwood Anderson

Kenny J. Williams: A Storyteller and a City: Sherwood Anderson’s Chicago
Walter B. Rideout: Sherwood Anderson: A Writer in America
Kim Townsend: Sherwood Anderson

Other links

Sherwood Anderson
Sherwood Anderson
Sherwood Anderson
Biography of Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941)


1916 Windy McPherson’s Son (novel)
1917 Marching Men (novel)
1918 Mid-American Chants (prose poems)
1919 Winesburg, Ohio (novel/stories)
1920 Poor White (novel)
1921 The Triumph of the Egg (stories/poems)
1921 Horses and Men (stories)
1923 Many Marriages (novel)
1924 A Story teller’s Story. The Tale of an American Writer’s Journey Through His Own Imaginative World and Through the World of Facts (novel)
1924 A Story Teller’s Story (novel)
1924 An Exhibition of Paintings By Alfred H. Maurer (art)
1925 Dark Laughter (novel)
1925 A Meeting South (novel)
1925 The Modern Writer (literature)
1925 The South, the Black and White and Other Problems below the Mason and Dixon Line (essay)
1926 Sherwood Anderson’s Notebook
1926 Tar: A Midwest Childhood (novel)
1927 A New Testament (articles)
1929 Alice and the Lost Novel (novel)
1929 Hello Towns! (articles)
1929 Nearer the Grass Roots (travel)
1930 Onto Being Published (literature)
1930 The American County Fair (non-fiction)
1931 Perhaps Women (essay)
1932 Beyond Desire (novel)
1933 Death in the Woods (stories)
1934 No Swank (essays on well-known people)
1935 Puzzled America (essays)
1936 Kit Brandon (novel)
1936 Dreiser: A Biography
1937 Plays, Winesburg and Others (drama)
1940 Home Town (novel)
1940 San Francisco at Christmas (memoirs)
1942 Sherwood Anderson’s Memoirs
1951 Irving Howe (biography)
1953 Letters of Sherwood Anderson
1966 Lives of Animals (juvenile)
1967 Return to Winesburg, Ohio (essays)
1971 The Buck Fever Papers (essays)
1972 Ten Short Plays (drama)
1972 Sherwood Anderson and Gertrude Stein: Correspondence and Personal Essays
1974 A Collection of Critical Essays
1979 The Writer at His Craft (literature)
1984 Selected Letters: 1916-1933
1987 The Sherwood Anderson Diaries: 1936-1941
1989 Early Writings of Sherwood Anderson
1990 Love Letters to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson
1992 Certain Things Last: The Selected Short Stories of Sherwood Anderson
1997 Southern Odyssey: Selected Writings By Sherwood Anderson
1998 The Egg and Other Stories
2007 American Spring Song: The Selected Poems of Sherwood Anderson
2012 Collected Stories