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Famous Like Me > Writer > A > Sherwood Anderson

Profile of Sherwood Anderson on Famous Like Me

Name: Sherwood Anderson  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 13th September 1876
Place of Birth: Camden, USA
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Sherwood Anderson, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1933

Sherwood Anderson (September 13, 1876 – March 8, 1941) was an American writer, mainly of short stories, most notably the collection Winesburg, Ohio.

He was born in Camden, Ohio, the third child of Erwin M. Anderson and Emma S. Anderson. After his father's business failed, they were forced to move frequently, finally settling down at Clyde, Ohio in 1884. The family difficulties led his father to begin drinking heavily, while his mother died in 1895. Partly because of this, Anderson was eager to take on odd jobs, some of which were to help his family.

He moved to Chicago, Illinois near his brother Clyde's home. He worked as a manual laborer until near the turn of the century, when he enlisted in the US Army and participated in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. After the war, he worked with his brother at a publishing company in Springfield, Ohio. In 1900, Anderson attended the Wittenburg Academy. Eventually he secured a copywriter job in Chicago, where he was highly successful. In 1904, he married Cornelia Lane, the daughter of a wealthy Ohio family.

He fathered three children, and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he managed a mail-order business and paint manufacturing firms. In November 1912, he went missing, but reappeared four days later after having a mental breakdown. He described this as "escaping from his materialistic existence", which garnered praise from many other writers, who used his "courage" as an example. He moved back to Chicago, working again for the publishing and advertisement company.

In 1914, he divorced Cornelia Lane and married Tennessee Mitchell. That same year, his first novel, Windy McPherson's Son, was published. Three years later, his second major work, Marching Men, was published. However, he is probably most famous for his collection of works, which he began in 1915, known as Winesburg, Ohio. His themes are compared to those of T.S. Eliot and many other such modernists. Although his short stories, especially those mentioned, were very successful, he felt the need to write novels. In 1920, he published Poor White, a rather successful novel. He wrote various novels before divorcing Mitchell in 1922 and marrying Elizabeth Prall, two years later.

Beginning in 1924, Anderson lived in the historic Pontalba Apartments (540-B St. Peter Street) adjoining Jackson Square in New Orleans. There he and his wife entertained William Faulkner, Carl Sandburg, Edmund Wilson and other literary luminaries.

However, this marriage also failed, and Anderson married Eleanor Copenhaver in the late 1920s. They traveled and often studied together. In the 1930s, he published Death in the Woods, Puzzled America (a book of essays), and Kit Brandon, which was published in 1936. Although he was much less influential in this final writing period, many of Anderson's more significant lines of prose were present in these works, which were generally considered sub-par compared to his others. He died in Panama of peritonitis brought on by swallowing a toothpick.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Sherwood Anderson