In 1919 a middle-aged Chicago advertising writer from Ohio, a failure as a businessman, husband, and father, published a small yellow book of short stories intended to “reform” American literature. Against all expectations, Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small Town Life achieved what its author intended: after 1919 and after Winesburg, Ohio, American literature would be written and read freshly and differently.
Winesburg, Ohio has never been out of print, but never has Anderson’s book been published in the form and with the editorial care that the work has needed and deserved. The present text, authorized by the Sherwood Anderson Literary Estate Trust, is an expert text. The editor has relied on years of experience in editing Sherwood Anderson and has consulted all Anderson manuscripts, typescripts, letters, and diaries and all editions of the book to present the masterpiece in its intended state.
New to this expert edition of Winesburg, Ohio are historical and cultural annotations, documentation of changes in the various editions, identification of the Ohio originals for Anderson’s characters, and maps bearing the streets and buildings of the real town of Clyde, Ohio, which is the basis of Anderson’s fictional account.
Included as well are unique photographs of Anderson and Clyde, Ohio, illustrations that deepen knowledge and feeling for the author’s actual hometown and time, revealing Winesburg, Ohio to be an intensely local narrative—very much an “Ohio” book—and yet a book that has found and held worldwide attention.