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Article by Lisa Hom of the San Francisco Weekly, published August 22, 2001

Sherwood Anderson's classic collection of loosely connected short stories, Winesburg, Ohio uncovered the truth behind the closed doors of Main Street, America -- and what an ugly truth it was. The people of Winesburg ("grotesques," according to Anderson) are painted as sanctimonious, repressed busybodies trapped in their quiet lives of desperation. In these sobering portraits of small town American life, we meet, among others, Wing Biddlebaum, who tries to escape his sordid background as an alleged child molester (in Hands), and lovelorn Alice Hindman, who combats her loneliness and boredom with a naked sprint through the night (in Adventure). A seminal literary work, the book is frightening enough to make you embrace the innumerable nuisances of big city living. The stories can also stand on their own -- which is what they do in Word for Word's co-production with Shotgun Players. The writing -- all of it, including dialogue and expository text ("he said") -- literally comes alive.

(c) 2001 San Francisco Weekly


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