Winesburg, Ohio ~ A Capsule Book Review by Allen Kopp
Winesburg, Ohio by American writer Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) is a collection of short stories first published in 1919. While each story stands on its own, with different characters in each story, the stories together form a single, novel-like unit. The only character to appear, at least briefly, in most of the stories is George Willard, a young newspaper reporter on the only newspaper in the small town of Winesburg. George’s father owns the only hotel in town. George’s mother, who is the main character in one of the stories, is unhappy and dies at an early age. George longs to escape the small town of Winesburg and venture to the big city where he plans to pursue a writing career.
Each of the twenty-two stories in Winesburg, Ohio is about a specific character’s struggle to overcome the loneliness and isolation that are part of small-town life in the early twentieth century. Because of its emphasis on psychological insights over plot, Winesburg, Ohio is one of the earliest works of Modernist literature, the literary movement that was about overturning traditional modes of representation and expressing the new sensibilities of changing times.
Copyright © 2017 by Allen Kopp