Pearl Buck

June 26 (The Day of Stamina)

With the opening of China to the world in modern times, and the intense interest in the emerging power of that country on the world stage, it is natural to look back and rediscover the writings of those who first helped the West come to an understanding of the life and characteristics of the Chinese people. Foremost among these was certainly Pearl Buck, whose novels first acquainted Americans and Europeans with the daily life of Chinese peasants and aristocrats alike – how they lived, what they ate, their beliefs, their activities, their families, their hopes and dreams. One of the most prolific of American novelists, Pearl Buck wrote practically one novel every year, from 1930 to 1974.

Having won the Pulitzer Prize, Pearl Buck then went on to be the first woman in history to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. She was active her whole life long in various causes, most notably women’ s rights and the forbidden adoption of Chinese children in most Western countries, which she worked to repeal. Pearl Buck was eminently suited to write about China. As a child of missionary parents, she grew up there and was tutored privately in the Chinese language. Being born in the month of the Nurturer (astrological sign of Cancer), in the Week
of the Empath, the Stamina of her day gave her the dedication and unceasing energy to fight for causes in which she believed, but also the sympathy and understanding necessary to fully comprehend the character of the Chinese people and to communicate that to others in her many novels. Chinese people who later read Buck’ s work were moved by her accurate and empathic descriptions of Chinese life.

– Gary Goldschneider

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