Back Sherwood Anderson, “Unlighted Lamps”

*Sherwood Anderson (1876–1941)
From Sherwood Anderson: Collected Stories*

End of the Trolley Line, Oak Park, Illinois, 1893, oil on canvas by American artist Frederick Childe Hassam (1859–1935). (WikiArt)

In 1918 a Chicago-based advertising agency received a letter that began: “Dear Barton: You have a man in your employ that I have thought for a long time should be fired. I refer to Sherwood Anderson. He is a fellow of a good deal of ability, but for a long time I have been convinced that his heart is not in his work.” The letter was actually sent by Sherwood Anderson, whose acclaimed short-story cycle Winesburg, Ohio would be published the following year. Today, September 13, will mark the 140th anniversary of his birth.

For the several years leading up to his success, Anderson’s heart really was “not in his work.” Instead, he had been working on dozens of short stories and several novels—at least two of which were never published. One of those unpublished novels was “unpublishable,” but Anderson worked on the other—Mary Cochran—for nearly a decade. Unlike Anderson’s other works in several respects, the novel features its eponymous heroine struggling to find independence in an early-twentieth-century Chicago milieu that encouraged young women to find husbands.

In the end, only two portions of the novel would see print, reconceived and completely revised as stories in the collection The Triumph of the Egg, his extraordinarily successful follow-up to Winesburg, Ohio. We present the better known of the two stories, “Unlighted Lamps,” as our Story of the Week selection.

Read “Unlighted Lamps” by Sherwood Anderson

Library of America

A champion of America’s great writers and timeless works, Library of America guides readers in finding and exploring the exceptional writing that reflects the nation’s history and culture.

Learn More

From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.

Benefits of Using Safe Crypto Casinos. One of the most captivating reasons people drift towards Australian casinos online-casino-au com is the promise of anonymity. Safe platforms guarantee that your identity remains a secret. Quick Payouts and Minimal Fees. No one likes waiting, especially for winnings. Safe crypto casinos ensure that payouts are swift and the fees minimal, if not non-existent.

Browse our books Subscribe

With contributions from donors, Library of America preserves and celebrates a vital part of our cultural heritage for generations to come.

Ozwin Casino offers an exciting array of top-notch slots that cater to every player's preferences. From classic fruit machines to cutting-edge video slots, Ozwin Casino Real Money collection has it all. With stunning graphics, immersive themes, and seamless gameplay, these slots deliver an unparalleled gaming experience. Some popular titles include Mega Moolah, Gonzo's Quest, and Starburst, known for their massive jackpots and thrilling bonus features. Ozwin Casino's slots are not just about luck; they offer hours of entertainment and the chance to win big, making it a must-visit for slot enthusiasts.

Support our mission