Poor White by Sherwood Anderson (Pre-order)
With a new introduction by John Lingan
Hugh McVey moves from Missouri to the agrarian town of Bidwell, Ohio. He invents a mechanical cabbage planter to ease the burden of famers, but an investor in town exploits his product, which fails to succeed. His next invention, a corn cutter, makes him a millionaire and transforms Bidwell into a center of manufacturing. McVey, perennially lonely and ruminative, meets Clara Butterworth, who attends college at nearby Ohio State and is perennially harassed by her potential matches. Published one year after Winesburg, Ohio, in 1920, Poor White has a modernist style, a realist attention to every day life, and an eerily contemporary resonance.
"Hugh McVey combin[es] two main constituents of American character, Ford’s mindless inventiveness and Lincoln’s lonely brooding" —Irving Howe
"America's most distinctive novelist" —H.L. Mencken
Belt Revivals is a series of reprints of unjustly forgotten, newly resonant works from the American Midwest. You can subscribe to the whole series here.