Pearl S. Buck

pearl buck

Pearl S. Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973) was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature for her striking, exotic writing that opened our collective eyes to different cultures. Born in the U.S., she moved to China as a child, and grew up on that country’s legends. These stuck with her and influenced her writing and political activity.

Wise and opinionated, Buck made her feelings clear with her writing and brought attention to issues (social, racial, gender, international relations) that were unacknowledged; she dared the nation to help those that needed it.

The Good Earth (1931) her best-know work, was her second novel; it received both the Pulitzer Prize and the Howells Medal. In 1938, she received the Nobel Prize in literature for her body of work, though she still had many years of writing ahead of her.

A humanitarian as well as an author

She and her husband founded both The East and West Association, to increase understanding between East and West cultures and Welcome House, an agency for adopting children internationally; she also founded the Pearl S. Buck Foundation to help children in Asian countries.

Pearl S. Buck

You might also enjoy: 1938 Nobel Award for Literature to Pearl Buck


Pearl Buck  also wrote an enormous body of nonfiction, as well as essays and stories for magazines, all too numerous to list here, but which included work for The Atlantic Monthly, The Chinese Recorder, and The Crisis. When she passed away in 1973, Buck had published over 70 works, crossing over all genres. Her writing is still admired today, all over the world.

More about Pearl Buck on this site

Major works of fiction — a highly selected list

Biographies about Pearl S. Buck

More Information

Articles, News, Etc.

Film adaptations of Pearl Buck’s works

Visit Pearl S. Buck birthplace, house and other locations

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