Daily Archives for: May 20th, 2021

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck: An Appreciation

Revisiting a book many years after the first reading and still being able to connect is one of the greatest joys of rediscovering great authors. It’s no surprise that Pearl S. Buck won the Pulitzer Prize for The Good Earth and contributed to her receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature.

This novel, published in 1931, was the first in her House of Earth trilogy, followed by Sons and A House Divided. It made it to the bestselling lists in the United States, both in 1931 and 1932. The author, as the daughter of missionaries, grew up in China and based this work of historical fiction on her personal observations of village life around her.

Possibly the most interesting consequence of the author’s sympathetic depiction of the protagonists, farmer Wang Lung and his wife O-Lan, was in helping Americans of that period to be accepting of the Chinese as allies against the rumblings of war against Japan. Perhaps even Buck couldn’t have anticipated the impact that her book had — and continued to have — on her fellow Americans. Read More→

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