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His writing had an impact on such notable writers as Ernest Hemingway and William Faulknerboth of whom owe the first publication of their books to his efforts.
His prose style, based on everyday speech and derived from the experimental writing of Gertrude Steinwas markedly influential on the early Hemingway—who parodied it cruelly in Torrents of Spring to make a clean break and become his own man.
One of seven children of a day labourer, Anderson attended school intermittently as a youth in Clyde, Ohio, and worked as a newsboy, house painter, farmhand, and racetrack helper.
After a year at Wittenberg Academy, a preparatory school in SpringfieldOhio, he worked as an advertising writer in Chicago untilwhen he went back to Ohio and for the next six years sought—without success—to prosper as a businessman while writing fiction in his spare time.
A paint manufacturer in ElyriaOhio, he left his office abruptly one day in and wandered off, turning up four days later in Cleveland, disheveled and mentally distraught. He later said he staged this episode to get away from the business world and devote himself to literature.
Anderson went back to his advertising job in Chicago and remained there until he began to earn enough from his published work to quit. Winesburg, Ohio was his first mature book and made his reputation as an author. Its interrelated short sketches and tales are told by a newspaper reporter-narrator who is as emotionally stunted in some ways as the people he describes.
His best work is generally thought to be in his short stories, collected in Winesburg, Ohio, The Triumph of the EggHorses and Menand Death in the Woods A Midwest Childhoodand the posthumous Memoirs ; critical edition A selection of his Letters appeared in The Paris Wife is the story of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson.
Hadley is nine years Hemingway’s senior, but he has more life experience. Hadley is nine years Hemingway’s senior, but he has more life experience. Anderson pulls the twenty-one Winesburg tales into some semblance of unity in five ways.
First, in the Introduction, he explains the concept of the grotesque and the tales that follow are, by and large, examples of grotesquerie. Second, all of the tales are set, at least partly, in Winesburg, Ohio. Anderson's first use of fictional narrative voice appears here, as do his first framed stories, his gradual shift from expository essay to use of characters and dialogue—from direct statement to reliance on impression and the emotional impact of dramatic scenes, and his first use of moments of epiphany, or "luminous moments.".
Sherwood Anderson was an American writer born in Camden, Ohio, in After a childhood characterized by a succession of geographical moves, he settled in Chicago and became part of a .
) Following Anderson's lead in Winesburg, Ernest Hemingway published a loosely unified group of stories about Nick Adams (In Our Time, ) and William Faulkner in Go Down, Moses () built his stories around the McCaslin family. In addition, Anderson was one of the first American novelists to introduce new insights from psychology, including Freudian analysis.
 Although his short stories were very successful, Anderson wanted to write novels, which he felt allowed a larger scale.