Sherwood Anderson (Camden, Ohio, USA, 1876–Colon, Panama, 1941) was born into a poor family and he had to help bring money into the household. After his mother died in 1895, he went off to work in Chicago and later fought as a soldier in Cuba during the Spanish–American War. When he got back, Anderson became a successful businessman. But while living in Elyria, Ohio, he suffered a nervous breakdown: he walked out of the office one day and was found dazed and unwell in Cleveland four days later. He apparently wanted to leave his materialistic life behind and become a writer, but in reality he had a drinking problem, marital strife and business issues to deal with. Anderson ultimately left his wife and three children and settled in Chicago to pursue a writing career; he went on to remarry a further three times. The collection of stories entitled Winesburg, Ohio (1919) was his first book as a mature writer and gained him a reputation. He followed this with the novel Poor White (1920), the collections The Triumph of the Egg (1921) and Horses and Men (1923), and the autobiographical book A Story Teller’s Story (1924). Anderson was a great influence on the following generation of American writers, and it was thanks to him that Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner published their first works. He died of peritonitis at the age of sixty-five after swallowing a toothpick on a trip to Panama.
Books by the author