Pearl S. Buck

1892 - 1973

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973) was an American writer and novelist. She is best known for The Good Earth, the best-selling novel in the United States in 1931 and 1932 and which won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, Buck became the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China" and for her "masterpieces", two memoir-biographies of her missionary parents.Buck was born in West Virginia, but in October 1892, her parents took their 4-month-old baby to China. As the daughter of missionaries and later as a missionary herself, Buck spent most of her life before 1934 in Zhenjiang, with her parents, and in Nanjing, with her first husband. She and her parents spent their summers in a villa in Kuling, Mount Lu, Jiujiang, and it was during this annual pilgrimage that the young girl decided to become a writer. She graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, then returned to China. From 1914 to 1932, after marrying John Lossing Buck, she served as a Presbyterian missionary, but she came to doubt the need for foreign missions. Her views became controversial during the Fundamentalist–Modernist controversy, leading to her resignation. After returning to the United States in 1935, she married the publisher Richard J. Walsh and continued writing prolifically. She became an activist and prominent advocate of the rights of women and racial equality, and wrote widely on Chinese and Asian cultures, becoming particularly well known for her efforts on behalf of Asian and mixed-race adoption. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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