Back Sherwood Anderson, “Loneliness”

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

Pond near Springfield, Ohio (1924), oil on canvas by German American artist Oscar Grosch (1863–1928).

In late 1916 Sherwood Anderson wrote a story about Enoch Robinson, a young man who leaves the now-famous yet fictional town of Winesburg, Ohio, to pursue a career as an artist; works instead for an advertising agency, gets married, and has children; and ends up back in town, defeated and “all alone” in a third-story room. Anderson sent it off to one editor who had published other Winesburg stories and wrote, “Personally, I like the Enoch Robinson thing better than anything I have done.” He proved unable to find a publisher for the story yet included it in the book. It it has since been acclaimed as “one of the most moving of the Winesburg, Ohio tales.”

Readers have long noticed the biographical parallels between Enoch Robinson and Anderson himself, but one biographer has suggested that the real model for the story was the author’s brother, who disappeared for thirteen years. We present the story, along with additional details about Sherwood Anderson, his brother, and the genesis of the story itself, as our Story of the Week selection. The story is also accompanied by a streaming audio version read by the award-winning short-story writer Antonya Nelson.

Read “Loneliness “ by Sherwood Anderson

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