I must have been no more than fifteen or sixteen years old when I first chanced upon Winesburg, Ohio.
Gripped by these stories and sketches of Sherwood Anderson’s small-town “grotesques,” I felt that he was opening for me new depths of experience, touching upon half-buried truths which nothing in my young life had prepared me for. A New York City boy who never saw the crops grow or spent time in the small towns that lay sprinkled across America, I found myself overwhelmed by the scenes of wasted life, wasted love—was this the “real” America?—that Anderson sketched in Winesburg. In those days only one other book seemed to offer so powerful a revelation, and that was Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure.
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Date added: 06-29-2021
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