Pearl S. Buck

Biografie şi Bibliografie

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 — March 6, 1973) also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu (Chinese: 賽珍珠; pinyin: Sài Zhēnzhū), was an award-winning American writer who spent most of her time until 1934 in China. Her novel The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the U.S. in 1931 and 1932, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces."


Pearl was born in Hillsboro, West Virginia to Caroline Stulting (1857–1921) and Absalom Sydenstricker. Her parents, Southern Presbyterian missionaries, traveled to China soon after their marriage on July 8, 1880, but returned to the United States for Pearl's birth. When Pearl was three months old, the family returned to China to be stationed first in Zhenjiang (then often known as Jingjiang or, in the Postal Romanization, Tsingkiang). Pearl grew up bilingual, tutored in English by her mother and in classical Chinese by Mr. Kung.
Chinese man in Zhenjiang, c. 1900

The Boxer Uprising greatly affected Pearl and her family. Pearl's Chinese friends deserted her and her family, and Western visitors decreased too.

In 1911, Pearl left China to attend Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Virginia, US, graduating (Phi Beta Kappa) in 1914. From 1914 to 1933, she served as a Presbyterian missionary, but her views later became highly controversial in the Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy, leading to her resignation.

In 1914, Pearl returned to China. She married an agricultural economist missionary, John Lossing Buck, on May 13, 1917, and they moved to Suzhou, Anhui Province, a small town on the Huai River (not be confused with the better-known Suzhou in Jiangsu Province). It is this region she described later in The Good Earth and Sons.

From 1920 to 1933, Pearl and John made their home in Nanking (Nanjing), on the campus of Nanjing University, where both had teaching positions. Pearl taught English literature at the University of Nanjing and the Chinese National University. In 1920, the Bucks had a daughter, Carol, afflicted with phenylketonuria. In 1921, Pearl's mother died and shortly afterward her father moved in. In 1924, they left China for John's year of sabbatical and returned to the United States for a short time, during which Pearl earned her Masters degree from Cornell University. In 1925, the Bucks adopted Janice (later surnamed Walsh). That fall, they returned to China.

The tragedies and dislocations that Pearl suffered in the 1920s reached a climax in March 1927, during "Nanking Incident". In a confused battle involving elements of Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist troops, Communist forces, and assorted warlords, several Westerners were murdered. Since her father Absalom was a missionary, the family decided to stay in Nanjing until the battle reached the city. When violence broke out, a poor Chinese family allowed them to hide in their hut while the family house was looted. The family spent a day terrified and in hiding, after which they were rescued by American gunboats. They traveled to Shanghai and then sailed to Japan, where they stayed for a year. They later moved back to Nanjing, though conditions remained dangerously unsettled. In 1934, they left China permanently.

In 1935, the Bucks were divorced. Richard Walsh, president of the John Day Company and her publisher, became Pearl Buck's second husband. The couple lived in Pennsylvania.

During the Cultural Revolution Buck, as a preeminent American writer of Chinese peasant life, was denounced as an "American cultural imperialist." Buck was "heartbroken" when Madame Mao and high-level Chinese officials prevented her from visiting China with Richard Nixon in 1972.

Pearl S. Buck died of lung cancer on March 6, 1973 in Danby, Vermont and was interred in Green Hills Farm in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. She designed her own tombstone. The grave marker is inscribed with Chinese characters representing the name Pearl Sydenstricker.

Humanitarian efforts

Buck was highly committed and passionate about a range of issues that were mostly ignored in her generation; many of her life experiences and political views are described in her novels, short stories, fiction, children's stories, and the biographies of her parents entitled Fighting Angel (on Absalom) and The Exile (on Carrie). She wrote on a diverse variety of topics including woman's rights, Asian cultures, immigration, adoption, missionary work, and war.

In 1949, outraged that existing adoption services considered Asian and mixed-race children unadoptable, Pearl established Welcome House, Inc., the first international, interracial adoption agency. In nearly five decades of work, Welcome House has placed over five thousand children. In 1964, to support children who were not eligible for adoption, Buck established the Pearl S. Buck Foundation to "address poverty and discrimination faced by children in Asian countries." In 1965, she opened the Opportunity Center and Orphanage in South Korea, and later offices were opened in Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. When establishing Opportunity House, Buck said, "The purpose... is to publicize and eliminate injustices and prejudices suffered by children, who, because of their birth, are not permitted to enjoy the educational, social, economic and civil privileges normally accorded to children."

In the late 1960s, Pearl toured West Virginia to raise money to preserve her family farm in Hillsboro, WV. Today The Pearl S. Buck Birthplace is a historic house museum and cultural center. She hoped the house would "belong to everyone who cares to go there," and serve as a "gateway to new thoughts and dreams and ways of life."

Long before it was considered fashionable or politically safe to do so, Buck challenged the American public on topics such as racism, sex discrimination and the plight of the thousands of babies born to Asian women left behind and unwanted wherever American soldiers were based in Asia. During her life Buck combined the multiple careers of wife, mother, author, editor and political activist.


Peter Conn, in his biography of Buck, argues that despite the accolades awarded her, Buck's contribution to literature has been mostly forgotten or deliberately ignored by America's cultural gatekeepers.

Anchee Min, author of a fictionalized life of Buck, broke down upon reading Buck, because she had portrayed the Chinese peasants "with such love, affection and humanity"."

Buck was honored by the United States Postal Service with a 5¢ Great Americans series postage stamp.

(賽珍珠故居) Pearl's former residence at Nanjing University is now the Nanjing University Science and Technology Industry Group Building along the West Wall of the university's north campus. U.S. President George H.W. Bush toured the Pearl S. Buck House in October 1998. He expressed that he, like millions of other Americans, had gained an appreciation for the Chinese through Pearl's writing.

Selected bibliography


    * My Several Worlds (1954)
    * A Bridge For Passing (1962)


    * The Exile (1936)
    * Fighting Angel (1936)


    * East Wind:West Wind (1930)
    * The House of Earth (1935)
          o The Good Earth (1931)
          o Sons (1933)
          o A House Divided (1935)
    * The Mother (1933)
    * This Proud Heart (1938)
    * The Patriot (1939)
    * Other Gods (1940)
    * China Sky (1941)
    * Dragon Seed (1942)
    * The Promise (1943)
    * China Flight (1943)
    * The Townsman (1945) -- as John Sedges
    * Portrait of a Marriage (1945)
    * Pavilion of Women (1946)
    * The Angry Wife (1947) -- as John Sedges
    * Peony (1948)
    * The Big Wave (1948)
    * A Long Love (1949) -- as John Sedges
    * Kinfolk (1950)
    * God's Men (1951)
    * The Hidden Flower (1952)
    * Come, My Beloved (1953)
    * Voices in the House (1953) -- as John Sedges
    * Imperial Woman (1956)
    * Letter from Peking (1957)
    * Command the Morning (1959)
    * Satan Never Sleeps (1962; see 1962 film Satan Never Sleeps)
    * The Living Reed (1963)
    * Death in the Castle (1965)
    * The Time Is Noon (1966)
    * Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (1967)
    * The New Year (1968)
    * The Three Daughters of Madame Liang (1969)
    * Mandala (1970)
    * The Goddess Abides (1972)
    * All Under Heaven (1973)
    * The Rainbow (1974)


    * Of Men and Women (1941)
    * How It Happens: Talk about the German People, 1914–1933, with Erna von Pustau (1947)
    * The Child Who Never Grew (1950)
    * The Man Who Changed China: The Story of Sun Yat-sen (1953) for young readers
    * My Several Worlds (1954)
    * For Spacious Skies (1966)
    * The People of Japan (1966)
    * The Kennedy Women (1970)
    * China as I See It (1970)
    * The Story Bible (1971)
    * Pearl S. Buck's Oriental Cookbook (1972)

Short Stories

    * The First Wife and Other Stories (1933)
    * Today and Forever: Stories of China (1941)
    * Twenty-Seven Stories (1943)
    * Far and Near: Stories of Japan, China, and America (1949)
    * Fourteen Stories (1961)
    * Hearts Come Home and Other Stories (1962)
    * Stories of China (1964)
    * Escape at Midnight and Other Stories (1964)
    * The Good Deed and Other Stories of Asia, Past and Present (1969)
    * Once Upon a Christmas (1972)
    * East and West Stories (1975)
    * Secrets of the Heart: Stories (1976)
    * The Lovers and Other Stories (1977)
    * Mrs. Stoner and the Sea and Other Stories (1978)
    * The Woman Who Was Changed and Other Stories (1979)
    * The Good Deed (1969)
    * "Christmas Day in the Morning"
    * "The Refugee"
    * " The Chinese Children Next Door" for children
    * ″The Enemy"
    * "The Frill"


    * Pulitzer Prize for the Novel: The Good Earth (1932)
    * William Dean Howells Medal (1935)
    * Nobel Prize in Literature (1938)

Cărti de Pearl S. Buck

Cum Cumpăr Cum plătesc Livrare
0 cărţi in coş
Total : 0 RON