SHERWOOD ANDERSON by Irving Howe
Kirkus Star

SHERWOOD ANDERSON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An assiduous and often brilliant estimate of the life and works of the mid-western novelist whose writings may enjoy a critical re-examination, in the light of the present fad for backward glances to the twenties and thirties. Although Anderson's actual published writing stretched well into the end of the thirties, his really creative work was confined to the twenties -- the years of Winesburg, Ohio; Poor White and Men and Horses, for the period just before his death in 1941 was relatively barren of the searching spirit which produced those novels and short stories which expressed touchingly, painfully, the loveless loneliness of the mid-western American in the turbulent frontier-industrial transition. Investigating the peculiar influences which drove this restless, mother-starved, sentimental artist, Mr. Howe follows Anderson's career from his boyhood in Ohio; his despair with the charming insouciance of his father; his suppressed feeling for his wearily withdrawn mother; his early years among the Phillistines of business; an escape from his first marriage to Chicago's Bohemia and the brief exhilaration of the defiant new realism; marriages and friends; and the battle to retain the creative powers which surged and waned spasmodically. A full, thorough portrait of a man, an era and an art, this book should receive wide critical attention. In the American Men of Letters series.

Publisher: William Sloane