Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio

Text and Criticism

Editor: John H. Ferres

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140247794
  • 544 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


Published in 1919, Winesburg, Ohio is Sherwood Anderson’s masterpiece, a work in which he achieved the goal to which he believed all true writers should aspire: to see and feel “all of life within.” In a perfectly imagined world, an archetypal small American town, he reveals the hidden passions that turn ordinary lives into unforgettable ones. Unified by the recurring presence of young George Willard, and played out against the backdrop of Winesburg, Anderson’s loosely connected chapters, or stories, coalesce into a powerful novel.

In such tales as “Hands,” the portrayal of a rural berry picker still haunted by the accusations of homosexuality that ended his teaching career, Anderson’s vision is as acute today as it was over eighty-five years ago. His intuitive ability to home in on examples of timeless, human conflicts—a workingman deciding if he should marry the woman who is to bear his child, an unhappy housewife who seeks love from the town’s doctor, an unmarried high school teacher sexually attracted to a pupil—makes this book not only immensely readable but also deeply meaningful. An important influence on Faulkner, Hemingway, and others who were drawn to Anderson’s innovative format and psychological insights, Winesburg, Ohio deserves a place among the front ranks of our nation’s finest literary achievements.
Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio

Sherwood Anderson, Editor: John H. Ferres


"When he calls himself a ‘poor scribbler’ don’t believe him. He is not a poor scribbler . . . he is a very great writer."–Ernest Hemingway

"Winesburg, Ohio, when it first appeared, kept me up a whole night in a steady crescendo of emotion."–Hart Crane

"As a rule, first books show more bravado than anything else, unless it be tediousness. But there is neither of these qualities in Winesburg, Ohio. . . . These people live and breathe: they are beautiful."–E. M. Forster

"Winesburg, Ohio is an extraordinarily good book. But it is not fiction. It is poetry."–Rebecca West


Critical Library, Viking
John Steinbeck
James Joyce
Graham Greene
Arthur Miller

Table of Contents

Winesburg, OhioPreface to the First Edition
Preface to the Revised Edition
Anderson on Winesburg, Ohio (from his Memoirs and Letters): Language and Form / Winesburg and Its People / Reception
I. Winesburg, Ohio: The Text
A Note on the Text, by Malcolm Cowley

II. The Reviewers
The New Republic, June 25, 1919: M. A.
The Chicago Evening Post, June 20, 1919: LLEWELLYN JONES
Smart Set, August 1919: H. L. MENCKEN
The Bookman, August 1919: H. W. BOYNTON
The Springfield Republican, July 20, 1919
The New Statesman, July 22, 1922: REBECCA WEST

III. The Critics
WILLIAM L. PHILLIPS, How Sherwood Anderson Wrote Winesburg, Ohio
WALTER B. RIDEOUT, The Simplicity of Winesburg, Ohio
JARVIS A. THURSTON, Technique in Winesburg, Ohio
ROGER ASSELINEAU, Language and Style in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio
MALCOLM COWLEY, Introduction to Winesburg, Ohio
WALDO FRANK, Winesburg, Ohio After Twenty Years
JOHN S. REIST, JR., An Ellipse Becomes a Circle: The Developing Unity of Winesburg, Ohio
EDWIN FUSSELL, Winesburg, Ohio: Art and Isolation
DAVID STOUCK, Winesburg, Ohio as a Dance of Death
IRVING HOWE, The Book of the Grotesque
CHARLES CHILD WALCUTT, Naturalism in Winesburg, Ohio
EILEEN BALDESHWILER, Sherwood Anderson and the Lyric Story
SALLY ADAIR RIGSBEE, The Feminine in Winesburg, Ohio
MARTIN BIDNEY, Anderson and the Androgyne: “Something More Than Man or Woman”
JOHN H. FERRES, The Nostalgia of Winesburg, Ohio
LIONEL TRILLING, Sherwood Anderson
E. SAN JUAN, JR., Vision and Reality: A Reconsideration of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio
JOHN T. FLANAGAN, Hemingway’s Debt to Sherwood Anderson
WILLIAM FAULKNER, Sherwood Anderson: An Appreciation

Topics for Discussion and Papers

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