Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography

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9780521560801: Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography

Pearl S. Buck was one of the most renowned, interesting, and controversial figures ever to influence American and Chinese cultural and literary history--and yet she remains one of the least studied, honored, or remembered. In this richly illustrated and meticulously crafted narrative, Conn recounts Buck's life in absorbing detail, tracing the parallel course of American and Chinese history. This "cultural biography" thus offers a dual portrait: of Buck, a figure greater than history cares to remember, and of the era she helped to shape.

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Review:

Quick: name the only two female American novelists ever to win the Nobel Prize. Most literati can get Toni Morrison; many fewer remember that Pearl Buck won the world's most prestigious literary prize in 1938, largely on the strength of her celebrated first book, The Good Earth. Peter Conn's painstaking biography explores Buck, the famous author, crusader for women's rights, philanthropist, adviser to Presidents, expert on the Far East, and editor of Asia magazine. Pearl Buck, the woman, wife, and mother is a bit more difficult to discern. Even her most intimate relations, including her children, seemed to find her a distant figure. Pearl Buck is overdue for a critical reappraisal in the United States--perhaps this book will help launch it.

Book Description:

Described by the Washington Post as an 'elegant absorbing book', Peter Conn's critically acclaimed biography retrieves from the footnotes of literary and cultural history one of the most popular novelists of the twentieth century, winner of a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize for Literature and an active social and political campaigner.

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