"Here [is] a new order of short story," said H.L. Mencken when Winesburg, Ohio was published in 1919. "It is so vivid, so full of insight, so shiningly life-like and glowing, that the book is lifted into a category all its own." Indeed, Sherwood Anderson's timeless cycle of loosely connected tales--in which a young reporter named George Willard probes the hopes, dreams, and fears of the solitary people in a small Midwestern town at the turn of the century--embraced a new frankness and realism that ushered American literature into the modern age.
"There are moments in American life to which Anderson gave not only the first but the final expression," wrote Malcolm Cowley. "Winesburg, Ohio is far from the pessimistic or morbidly sexual work it was once attacked for being. Instead it is a work of love, an attempt to break down the walls of loneliness, and, in its own fashion, a celebration of small-town life in the lost days of good will and innocence."
Library Journal praised this edition of Sherwood Anderson's famed short stories as "the finest edition of this seminal work available." Reconstructed to be as close to the original text as possible, Winesburg, Ohio depicts the strange, secret lives of the inhabitants of a small town. In "Hands," Wing Biddlebaum tries to hide the tale of his banishment from a Pennsylvania town, a tale represented by his hands. In "Adventure," lonely Alice Hindman impulsively walks naked into the night rain. Threaded through the stories is the viewpoint of George Willard, the young newspaper reporter who, like his creator, stands witness to the dark and despairing dealings of a community of isolated people.