The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck was the second novel by this iconic American author. Published in 1931, it led the bestseller list for almost two years. The story of a Chinese peasant farmer named Wang Lung and his family, the book was translated more than thirty languages worldwide. Buck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938 for her body of work, and the impact of The Good Earth surely contributed to this high honor.
Pearl Buck’s perspective provided an anthropological twist as a Western participant in Chinese culture. She was able to highlight cultural traditions that may be taken for granted by a native author: Read More→
Zora Neale Hurston was a popular figure throughout the era of the Harlem Renaissance as a writer and anthropologist. She made waves as the first black student at Barnard college and one of the first people to conduct studies with a true folk-lore perspective.
Even as she had many professional connections and had a confident and humorous personality, Hurston struggled with economic stability throughout her life.
“Financial dependency is the thread that sewed a cloud over Hurston’s life, from the time she left home as a maid at 14 to the day of her death” — from Alice Walker’s introduction to I Love Myself When I am Laughing
Willa Cather‘s works of fiction and nonfiction represented consummate craftsmanship of the written word, so it’s no surprise that she left a body of insightful quotes.
Her college classmates and teachers secretly submitted an essay she wrote to the Nebraska State Journal. Until then, she had planned to study medicine, but seeing her work in print changed her plans: “… What youthful vanity can be unaffected by the sight of itself in print! It was a kind of hypnotic effect.” Read More→