Winesburg, Ohio

ISBN-10: 0375753133
ISBN-13: 9780375753138
Edition: 1999
List price: $8.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: Written in 1919, Winesburg, Ohio is a cycle of short stories concerning life in a small Ohio town at the end of the 19th century. At the centre of the stories is George Willard, a young reporter in whom the townsfolk confide.

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Book details

List price: $8.95
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 3/2/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Written in 1919, Winesburg, Ohio is a cycle of short stories concerning life in a small Ohio town at the end of the 19th century. At the centre of the stories is George Willard, a young reporter in whom the townsfolk confide.

Sherwood Anderson was born on September 13, 1876, in Camden, Ohio, and grew up in nearby Clyde. In 1898 he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Spanish-American War. In 1900 he enrolled in the Wittenberg Academy. The following year he moved to Chicago where he began a successful business career in advertising. Despite his business success, in 1912 Anderson walked away to pursue writing full time. His first novel was Windy McPherson's Son, published in 1916, and his second was Marching Men, published in 1917. The phenomenally successful Winesburg, Ohio, a collection of short stories about fictionalized characters in a small midwestern town, followed in 1919. Anderson wrote novels including The Triumph of the Egg, Poor White, Many Marriages, and Dark Laughter, but it was his short stories that made him famous. Through his short stories he revolutionized short fiction and altered the direction of the modern short story. He is credited with influencing such writers as William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Anderson died in March, 1941, of peritonitis suffered during a trip to South America. The epitaph he wrote for himself proclaims, "Life, not death, is the great adventure."

American novelist, poet, and critic John Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on March 18, 1932. He received an A.B. degree from Harvard University, which he attended on a scholarship, in 1954. After graduation, he accepted a one-year fellowship to study painting at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England. After returning from England in 1955, he worked for two years on the staff of The New Yorker. This marked the beginning of a long relationship with the magazine, during which he has contributed numerous short stories, poems, and book reviews. Although Updike's first published book was a collection of verse, The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures (1958), his renown as a writer is based on his fiction, beginning with The Poorhouse Fair (1959). During his lifetime, he wrote more than 50 books and primarily focused on middle-class America and their major concerns---marriage, divorce, religion, materialism, and sex. Among his best-known works are the Rabbit tetrology---Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit Is Rich (1981), and Rabbit at Rest (1988). Rabbit, Run introduces Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom as a 26-year-old salesman of dime-store gadgets trapped in an unhappy marriage in a dismal Pennsylvania town, looking back wistfully on his days as a high school basketball star. Rabbit Redux takes up the story 10 years later, and Rabbit's relationship with representative figures of the 1960s enables Updike to provide social commentary in a story marked by mellow wisdom and compassion in spite of some shocking jolts. In Rabbit Is Rich, Harry is comfortably middle-aged and complacent, and much of the book seems to satirize the country-club set and the swinging sexual/social life of Rabbit and his friends. Finally, in Rabbit at Rest, Harry arrives at the age where he must confront his mortality. Updike won the Pulitzer Prize for both Rabbit Is Rich and Rabbit at Rest. Updike's other novels range widely in subject and locale, from The Poorhouse Fair, about a home for the aged that seems to be a microcosm for society as a whole, through The Court (1978), about a revolution in Africa, to The Witches of Eastwick (1984), in which Updike tries to write from inside the sensibilities of three witches in contemporary New England. The Centaur (1963) is a subtle, complicated allegorical novel that won Updike the National Book Award in 1964. In addition to his novels, Updike also has written short stories, poems, critical essays, and reviews. Self-Consciousness (1989) is a memoir of his early life, his thoughts on issues such as the Vietnam War, and his attitude toward religion. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. He died of lung cancer on January 27, 2009 at the age of 76.

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