Recording of Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson.
Published in 1919, and listed on the Modern Library roster of the 20th century’s 100 greatest novels in English, Winesburg, Ohio presents a series of loosely related character studies of the inhabitants of a fictional Midwestern town that together form a novel of unusual unity and vision. The inarticulate and lonely citizens of Winesburg, each with his or her own secret tale to tell, frequently relate those tales to, or through their interactions with, the character of George Willard, a young Winesburg citizen on the cusp of manhood with dreams of becoming a writer. Thus Winesburg tells the story of the townspeople’s loneliness and alienation in parallel with the tale of George’s own coming of age. The citizens of Winesburg are described obliquely as “grotesques,” but as the introductory chapter makes clear, “The grotesques were not all horrible. Some were amusing, some almost beautiful . . .”