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Book Tips - Pearl Buck

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1938 was awarded to Pearl Buck "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces".

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China Sky

In my opinion it is the best Pearl Buck book I ever read. Inspiring and Deep. I love all her books but this one is really special. It is the One.
/Teresa Andrade, Portugal

Dragon Seed

When I read the Good Earth, I thought I had read best of Mme Buck's work but the reading of the Dragon Seed has opened many a wonderful gate. The Dragon Seed is a timeless tale. With patches and blotches of pathos, it takes the Darwinian theory of evolution to a higher platform. Not only the Ape and the Dragon but also the Fish (as per the story of Machhandra the Sidh) happen to be man's ancestors. Praised be Allah for his diversity of creatures - Kipling is hissing in my ear. Yet another great book.
/Dilbag Firdausi, India
It truly represents the act of survival and responsibility. Also about how soldiers in the Japanese invasion were so ruthless ...
/Dionysios, Cyprus
The depiction of the life of the peasant Chinese couple and their children, the relationships between the husband and wife - so rich, so enduring and full of love, the horrific episode of the Nanking invasion (by Japan) - just one of the best tales I've ever read.
/Patricia Mason, United States

Imperial Woman

Because she was a very impressive writer and this book has a very exciting description about the Imperatrix' life and the Chinese people.
/Antonio Brisolla Diuana, Brazil

My Several Worlds

Poor bullied Pearl Buck was considered a terrible choice for the Nobel even at the time she got it - a verdict she was well aware of, and that time has not dimmed. She was no great stylist, certainly, but she did have the ability to make a very "alien" people comprehensible and sympathetic to Western readers, and I think she gets far more abuse than she deserves. And the woman lived a terribly interesting life, as documented here in her autobiography. The daughter of missionaries, she spent her childhood in China - she didn't live in the States until she was college age - and was there in the beginning of the massive upheavals that would decimate the ancient social structure of the country. There were also anti-Western uprisings and massacres which Buck and her family barely managed to escape. The book documents her life in China, gives a sketch of the complicated political situation at the time, devotes a section to her travels (Russia, Korea, Japan, Siam), covers her pained reaction to criticism of her Nobel win, and shows the difficulty she had in adjusting to American life. Like many great autobiographies it is a chronicle of Paradise Lost, the free and friend-filled childhood among the Chinese contrasted to the demands of being a "good American." All in all - and I hardly expected it to be when I got it! - one of the more interesting personal testaments of the 20th century that I've come across.
/K. Kincaid, Thailand

Pavilion of Women

It takes me to an alien world of concubines in China. Nothing like it I have ever read. Amazing work of an amazing woman.
/Sangeeta Sinha, India
It is a new style from Buck to write about aristocratic Chinese society, with a story about an aristocratic woman falling in love with an Italian priest. In spite of her failure the first time as a wife she was seeking a new human to replace this failure, by love, warmth and soul.
/Moataz Mohsen, Egypt


Buck captivates a young slave girl's life living amongst a rich family and falling in love with the young master.
/Meshell Pozzi, United States
It's very confusing at first but the clash of the two cultures gets you interested in reading more.
/Prue Halliwell, Other


Differences between people in race, religion, culture. But in matter of feelings, emotions are the same for all people.
/Yamina Sedira, Algeria


I recommend 'Sons' a novel by Mme Pearl S Buck which is an off shoot of her 'The Good Earth' and forms a part of her trilogy. Pearl Buck churned out most of her literary work in China where a belief persists that 'Literature is art, all art has social significance, a Novel has NO social significance; hence novel is NOT literature'. In spite of all the despite; Buck did stay in China and did write Novel and won. This book also has the same tempo and temper as its siblings. I can feel Ogden Nash breathing at my neck and hissing with his usual glee: - There are no horses that can not be rode and no riders that can not be throwed. Thanks.
/Dilbag Firdausi, India

The Good Earth

I read this book when I was 16 or 17 years. Little thing I still remember from the story, except that it was the dramatic life of some very poor and very good-hearted Chinese, but I do remember the emotions that the reading caused me, strong emotions and pure as I was myself then, emotions that, maybe, one can only feel when he is still a teenager. Or maybe not.
/Wanderlei de Sousa, Brazil
"for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces"
/K V Ramana, India
I like it because Mme Pearl Buck, despite her missionary lineage; continues to be a painter rather than a preacher, There are no sermons - only mosaics.
/Dilbag Firdausi, India
"I bought her in a year of famine when her parents came south because they had nothing to eat. You see she has the strong body and the square cheeks of her kind. She will work well for you in the field and drawing water and all else that you wish. She is not beautiful but that you do not need … Neither is she clever. But she does well what she is told to do and she has a good temper." I come from a culture where women are still treated like chattel and while this book's characters and ideas may seem anachronistic to the western world seemed they are all but real to me. This book changed my life. At the age of 14,it ignited in me a life long determination to never let anyone use my gender as an excuse to hold me back.
/Dr.Rabia Awan, Pakistan
It describes very accurately the life in villages.
/Surendra Kumar Sahu, India
The Good Earth is a saga, in which Mme Buck has portrayed the life of a Chinese peasant family, but indeed it's the story of each and every person lived or living in this world, if we take Wang's family and it's characters as metaphors to our lives. The struggle of life, the ebbs and flows, the relationships, human needs and human nature ... all summed up in a novel. A true masterpiece of modern prose.
/Junaid Amjad, Cuba
Mme Pearl S Buck won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938. She was the 4th woman to receive this honor. Born of missionary parents; she had German, Dutch and French blood in her veins (and of course-arteries too). Charles Dickens had a great influence on her. For some time she taught at the University of Nan-kin and later at the National University of China. Though she started writing at a young age; yet her first major work- a novel "The Good Earth" appeared in 1931. I recommend "The Good Earth" which won her the coveted Pulitzer Prize in 1932. The story of this novel runs thus: Wang Lung, a poor peasant in China, goes to the house of Hwang to get a wife. O-Lan, a kitchen slave is chosen for him. He begets three sons and two daughters from O-Lan. When O-Lan becomes old and ugly; Wang Lung marries a prostitute. The dying old man (Wang Lung) discovers that his sons did not love the land and want to sell it and move to the city. The Good Earth of Wang Lung is not so for his sons. A readable piece of classical and elemental prose. Thanks.
/Dilbag Firdausi, India
The story is simple yet so moving, I have read all her books and she writes with a wisdom about the human codition that is universal.
/Julianne Kiecker, United States
I like 'The Good Earth' because it opens a door of knowledge to the Orient. I would like someday to visit China and see the places about which Pearl Buck wrote.
/Amanda Milam, United States
It let me know about peasants in China.
/Nguyen, Vietnam
It is an interesting story and gives readers perspective on the Chinese culture.
/Michelle, United States
I've always loved china and her people and Pearl S. Buck made them come alive. We all live somewhere, but, we don't necessarily observe and share our journey with others. Thanks to Mrs. Buck we have a better love and understanding of a great people.
/Joanne Stern, United States
The prose is the best. Her descriptions are soo vivid, and real. The book flows beautifully.
/Tavey Davis, United States
It brings out the resiliency of the Asian people in times of crisis. The story shows how a person can endure. It brings out the strength of the Chinese people.
/Franklin Piad, Philippines
This novel gave a great impression of life in China during the war. You can truly feel what it is like to be a poor, Chinese farmer. This book must be read to truly understand the how thin the line is between fiction and non-fiction.
/John Potter, United States
A fantastic read that communes in the story-telling form. The characters are so alive that I saw them as people around me. The seams that unite the story can only come from a great writer like Pearl S. Buck.It is a writing so raw, so natural, so Pearl.
/Akinniyi Akeem, Nigeria
It has extremely vivid details and tells a story that includes things that most people would never even begin to think of. I love Buck's epic descriptions of the triumphs and sufferings of a peasant and his family in a China that is on the verge of revolution. It is simply amazing to read, it pulls one into its very world so that all else disappears. It is fascinating, my all time favorite book.
/Ellie, United States
'The Good Earth' provides the reader with a better and greater understanding of the Chinese society, their suffering of poverty and famine, and imperialism. This novel is also very exciting, capturing the reader's attention and mind for a fun and informing period of time. I believe that Pearl Buck truly deserves this great award for her beautifully written books and the superb tale, 'The Good Earth'.
/Mouad Ibno Bachir, Morocco
The language fits well and formly with the story. The story itself is beautiful, Buck truly reflects what it is within a woman who is not considered beautiful's heart and mind. There are many women like this, unrepresented, unheard in the ethos of literature, and Buck, if only others have read her more, give them voice.
/Liyana Tassim, Brunei
I can find anything in it. It is always on my mind. A very touching story about a poor Chinese land slave who became a great farmer. I read it when I was 18 years old. I still love this book and now I am 68.
/Cilia, Netherlands
It is so wonderfully written and I liked all of Pearl Buck’s books.
/Jacqueline, Sweden
It was quite intriguing. At first, it seemed uninteresting, but by the end of the first chapter I was hooked, especially because I am interested in the history and culture of China. Pearl S. Buck writes with a unique voice, almost fragile yet at the same time exuding confidence and calm over her subject matters. She develops her characters well through dialogue and actions, and writes in a manner reserved for authors of the highest class.
/Ylanne Sorrows, United States
For its captivating story and manner of presenting it.
/RPS Rathore, India
The book examplified the simplicity of life in the most easily understood language. Pearl S. Buck still managed to convey the message of life in early 20th century China in the most extraordinary fashion, regardless of the simplicity of the language she used. This has aided in many understanding the content of the book regardless of their age, young or old. The book also showed the important role of men as sole breadwinners and women holding the key post of home-makers in the household, a stereotype that has persisted throughout the ages even in the 21st century world. This book is truly a great read and I certainly would recommend it to every bookworm I know!
/K. Deepan, Singapore
She brought the reader right into the life of the Chinese farmer, Wang Lung and his family during some perilous times. Plus she wrote simply and made the story easy to understand. It is a book I like to read over and over.
/Evelyn Heinz, United States
My favourite person is the little fool girl who was only loved by her parents. I loved to read about how O-Lan and Wang Lung created their fortune on the fields and this good field and earth made them rich. This book shows us how to be honest and constant and solid during the difficulties of history. However, it shows deep sins of human life. It is a fantastic book.
/Kata, Hungary
I learned from it the real sacrifice!
/Essam Asali, Israel
I like this book because it is a fascinating tale of China, beautiful and yet very sad. This was the first book to ever make me cry.
/Emma, Spain
Because it made me feel that it never can be written better!
/Kripa, India
'The Good Earth' remains a poignant and honest depiction of life for the Chinese commoner on the brink of vast events beyond his control. The characters resonate within the readers as they discover commonalities they scarce thought possible. Buck truly created a novel that speaks to every individual.
/Chelsea Mann, United States
It's very realistic!!!
/Charisse, Philippines
It talks about the past and present situation of the agricultural sector in many asian countries. It also gives a very realistic account of a peasant's life in China long time ago with the discrimination of the south and north, the anti-feminism and submission of women.
/Jodea Pearl Martin, Philippines
It's a very nice novel from this writer.She wrote this novel in 1931 in China where she studied English literaturein Shangahi Universty and she studied the goodly ways of the Chinese people and their principles. She said that she was American by birth and Chinese by heart. She talked about China in the time of povertyand how the farmers faced this hard time by hard work and honesty in theirlife.
/Moatazmohsen, Egypt
It has a multi-layered content and excellent themes.
/Aaron, United States
This book really depicts Chinese hardship, religion, and customs during the turn of the century. Not only is it educational, but it is quite entertaining following Wang Lung, the protagonist, through his experience with wealth, adultery, drugs, and travel.
/Anna DiLoreto, United States
It really portrays human life without specifying a special area or nationality.
/Jaw, Yemen
A marvellous book about a Chinese peasant, what he lives for and his ideals about lives.
/Hanh, United States

The Man Who Changed China: The Story of Sun Yat-sen

This story talks about Sun Yat-sen, the father of modern China and the founder of the Chinese republic in 1912. It clever of Buck to present this book for children and to take a symbolic hero as a base of building a brilliant future.
/Moataz Mohsen, Egypt

The Mother

It represents the situation of a suffering citizen in China who is trying to raise her children by herself. That's why I was very attached to this story and I intend to know more about such situations. I was very influenced by the Chinese lifestyle.
/Safa Tannir, Lebanon

The Young Revolutionist

A heartbreaking story about a boy in rural China. I read it years ago and I wished I could reread it on my Kindle.
/Cilia, Netherlands
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