March 8, 2008

March 8 | Sherwood Anderson

September 13, 1876 - March 8, 1941: Age 64

Sherwood Anderson was an American writer who started out as a copywriter in the publishing and advertising business. He is best known for a collection of interrelated short stories called Winesburg, Ohio, the first of which ("Hands") he described as the first real story he ever wrote. That was in 1919. And guess what: you can read it here. His writing voice was very modern and William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and Scott Fitzgerald were among his admirers.

In 1941 his wife retired from her job so that they could take a long trip together, beginning with a trip by ocean liner from New York to Valparaiso, Chile. During a cocktail party on the ship Anderson bit off the end of a toothpick; some sources say it was embedded in a martini olive, and others that it was in an hors d'oeuvre. Whatever the case, it ended up embedded in Anderson, and by their second day at sea he was very ill. They disembarked at Colon in Panama and he was taken to hospital: he died there of peritonitis on March 8.

Sources: Wikipedia, Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson Biography

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