Pearl S. Buck

Buck, Pearl Sydenstricker

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (sī´dənstrĬk´ər), 1892–1973, American author, b. Hillsboro, W.Va., grad. Randolph-Macon Women's College, 1914, the first American woman to receive (1938) the Nobel Prize in Literature. Until 1924 she lived principally in China, where she, her parents, and her first husband, John Lossing Buck, whom she married in 1917, were missionaries. She is famous for her vivid, compassionate novels about life in China. The Good Earth (1931; Pulitzer Prize), a best seller that is considered her finest work, describes a Chinese peasant's rise to wealth and brilliantly conveys a sense of the daily life of ordinary rural fieldworkers in China. Among her other novels of China are East Wind: West Wind (1930), Dragon Seed (1942), Imperial Woman (1956), and Mandala (1971). Remarkably prolific, she wrote 39 novels; 25 nonfiction works, including Fighting Angel, a biography of her father (1936), and China As I See It (1970); and numerous short stories, children's books, plays, and magazine articles. In 1935, she married her publisher, Richard J. Walsh, president of the John Day Company. In 1949 she founded Welcome House, which provided care for the children of Asian women and American soldiers; the Pearl Buck Foundation of Philadelphia, to which she consigned most of her royalties, aids in the adoption of Amerasian children.

See her autobiography, My Several Worlds (1954); biographies by T. F. Harris (2 vol., 1969–71), P. Conn (1996), and H. Spurling (2010); study by K. Liao (1997).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Bridge across the Pacific
Kang Liao.
Greenwood Press, 1997
The Several Worlds of Pearl S. Buck: Essays Presented at a Centennial Symposium, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, March 26-28, 1992
Elizabeth J. Lipscomb; Frances E. Webb; Peter Conn.
Greenwood Press, 1994
Pearl S. Buck's Chinese Women Characters
Xiongya Gao.
Susquehanna University Press, 2000
American Women Fiction Writers, 1900-1960
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, vol.1, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Pearl S. Buck begins on p. 48
Embracing the East: White Women and American Orientalism
Mari Yoshihara.
Oxford University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Six "'Popular Expert on China': Authority and Gender in Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth"
Women in Literature: Reading through the Lens of Gender
Jerilyn Fisher; Ellen S. Silber.
Greenwood Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Patriarchy and Property: Women in Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth (1931)" begins on p. 121
Scratches on Our Minds: American Views of China and India
Harold R. Isaacs.
M. E. Sharpe, 1980
Librarian’s tip: "Pearl Buck's Chinese" begins on p. 155
Movers and Shakers: American Women Thinkers and Activists, 1900-1970
June Sochen.
Quadrangle, 1973
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Pearl S. Buck begins on p. 177
American Women Writers, 1900-1945: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook
Laurie Champion.
Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Pearl S. Buck begins on p. 55
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