I was surprised by Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (published 1916). I thought it would be an Our Town-esque view of life in a small town. It was very similar in its setting to Thornton Wilder’s play in that it focused on people in a small community. But Sherwood Anderson’s collection of stories was remarkably deep, conveying realistic emotions on a level beyond those explored in the comparatively basic Our Town (which I love for its perspective on family, relationships, and life; thoughts here).
In deceptively simple modernistic prose, Anderson captured the loneliness of people and the secrets all hold inside. Each story captures the intimate thoughts on worries of a different person in Winesburg, with the entire volume creating a silhouette of the small town’s makeup. Although everyone is nosy about one other in a town of less than 2,000 people, no one really knew each other at all.
How universal this seemed to be; it extends to today. We may be less nosy about our neighbors, but we certainly don’t know each other any better!Continue Reading