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1. Pearl Buck in China: Journey to
2. The Good Earth (Enriched Classics)
3. Peony: A Novel of China
4. Pavilion of Women
5. A House Divided (Good Earth Trilogy,
6. The Mother
7. Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography
8. Dragon Seed (Buck, Pearl S. Oriental
9. Sons (Good Earth Trilogy, Vol
10. Imperial Woman: The Story of the
11. The Story Bible
12. Kinfolk (Oriental Novels of Pearl
13. The China Mystique: Pearl S. Buck,
14. The Exile
15. Burying The Bones: Pearl Buck
16. Living Reed: A Novel of Korea
17. The Promise (Oriental Novels of
18. Christmas Day in the Morning
19. My several worlds: A personal
20. Pearl Buck, a Woman in Conflict

1. Pearl Buck in China: Journey to The Good Earth
by Hilary Spurling
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2010-06-01)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$15.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416540423
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The much honored biographer unearths the life and work of Nobel Prize winner Pearl Buck, whose novels captured ordinary life in China. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

2-0 out of 5 stars Unevenly written and poorly edited
It's hard for me to settle on this book's main flaw because there are so many things wrong with it. I guess the worst part is that, aside from Pearl Buck and her mother, the rest of the characters in this book are merely two-dimensional props meant to support the author's agenda. I wish I knew what the agenda was... it's difficult to tell because the writing is so even and there's not a clear point of view. That Spurling has contempt for the missionaries who worked in China is clear; she makes the point that they were shallow, intolerant, and arrogant as often as possible. It's also clear that Spurling appreciates those who share her view of missionaries, for she focuses again and again on Pearl's mother's resentment of her missionary husband and subsequent loss of faith, and throughout the book devotes the greatest details to how Pearl differs from her contemporaries in creed and practice. Her only criticisms of Pearl are when she actually acts like a missionary. If anything else is clear it's that Spurling favors female heroes. The men in the book are all painted as shallow, egotistical misogynists. (It's not that missionaries haven't done anything that deserves contempt, because they certainly have. What I object to is Spurling's not-so-hidden agenda of missionary bashing.)

The editing in the book is deplorable. So much of the writing is awkward and difficult to follow; it's hard to believe Spurling is the author of several other biographies.

One minor annoyance is the inconsistent rendering of Chinese words, personal names, and places. Sometimes Spuring uses the modern pinyin rendering and sometimes she uses the old Wade-Giles methods. Settle on one and stick with it.

4-0 out of 5 stars audio book was riveting
I found the audio book to be a great companion on a long drive.Spurling's tone was conversational (there were times I could hear her taking a quick drink, which heightened the effect.)She did mispronounce the Chinese place names, & the American too: but so?She took a lot of the details of Buck's life from Buck's autobiographical & fictionalized autobiographical writings which sold little in her lifetime & have not been read, since.I've not read much Buck--including _The Good Earth_--since I was, perhaps, 15: so I felt Spurling assumed a familiarity with its plot & characters that I no longer had, though they might have had some formative influence. Spurling does a good job illuminating the effect the missionaries had on China though they may have gained few converts. (Among them, the parents of Henry Luce, who was enormously influential & who may have made America's China policy in the '50s.) It gave me some insight into the personalities of people I know who were from the missionary community & made me wish I had questioned them more closely when I had the chance.

I thought it was a wonderful book (I have one disk to go), & I am talking it up to my friends.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good read...but avoid the audio version
Spurling has done a creditable job of presenting and interpreting Pearl Buck's life, and the book is enjoyable and holds one's interest. But for some godforsaken reason she opted to record the book herself. Even if you can tolerate the flat monotone that characterizes the recording from beginning to end - it makes one recall the famous comment about Katherine Hepburn running the gamut of emotions from A to B - the pronunciation of the Chinese names and words is grating and inexcusable. Spurling writes about China, but one gets the impression from the way she talks about people and places there that she never set foot in the place. If she was unwilling to spend a few minutes with a Mandarin speaker learning how to say these words and names so that they are understandable, she had no business doing the recording herself. Stick with the printed word if you want to learn what she has to say!!!

Pearl Buck in China: Journey to The Good Earth

A wonderful Authoress that left an amazing legacy! I have to get my hands on everything by and about her! My collection is up over 100.

1-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Subject; Lackluster Writing
I suffered through this book waiting for something that never came. The author's writing style is devoid of humor or flair.The books reads like a thesis.I'm shocked so many people raved about it; I feel as though I read a different book.

Equally bad as the writing is the organization. The events take place in pseudo-chronological order - but every so often there are huge jumps in time and place. The author also assumes her reader is familiar with Pearl Buck.I don't think such familiarity would have made the book more readable, but I'm guessing Buck fans are more forgiving. ... Read more

2. The Good Earth (Enriched Classics)
by Pearl S. Buck
Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages (2005-03-29)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416500189
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description



A poignant tale about the life and labors of a Chinese farmer during the sweeping reign of the country¹s last emperor.


• A concise introduction that gives readers important background information

• A chronology of the author's life and work

• A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context

• An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations

• Detailed explanatory notes

• Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work

• Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction

• A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience

Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.


... Read more

Customer Reviews (399)

5-0 out of 5 stars For Book Club
I purchased four "used" books, for book club, and everyone at club was amazed of the quality. The "used" books, were like brand new.

5-0 out of 5 stars It is a modern classic...wonderful!
I loved this book!Everyone should read this book even if for the second time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Old Favorite
I haven't read this book since high school, and my book group chose it as a prelude to reading the Pearl Buck biography.I enjoyed the reread; her characters seem to come alive.I also was very pleased with the edition, which offered valuable information to share with my book group.

5-0 out of 5 stars Honest Seller
This is a great seller.The book I ordered was not in the condition that it stated.I left a critical review of the condition of the book.Seller took action and credited me the cost of the book.I am very happy with this seller and would highly recommend them.I really appreciated how they handle this problem.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simple, elegant story, strangely inspiring
Buck manages to create really strong female characters within the framework of traditional Chinese society.This is a beautiful story with universal human truth, and one I found strangely inspiring in its message (the value inherent in land, partnership, and hard work). ... Read more

3. Peony: A Novel of China
by Pearl S. Buck
Paperback: 352 Pages (2006-01-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559213388
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Young Peony is sold into a rich Chinese household as a bondmaid -- an awkward role in which she is more a servant, but less a daughter. As she grows into a lovely, provocative young woman, Peony falls in love with the family's only son. However, tradition forbids them to wed. How she resolves her love for him and her devotion to her adoptive family unfolds in this profound tale, based on true events in China over a century ago. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars Peony
This is about a young Chinese girl purchased as a bondmaid by a Jewish family living in exile in China around the time of the Two Empresses and the Opium War, which would put it around 1861.The book is good, well-written, and enjoyable to read.I only wish that one of the points of tension had been something else - or that the family had been something besides Jewish.One of the major points of tension was whether or not David, the son of the family, would be able to take Peony as his concubine or as his second wife. Had the answer been that he could not take her as his second wife because she was a Gentile, it would have been accurate.However, David makes the statement, "In my religion - the religion, that is, of my people - a man is allowed only one wife."That is not accurate.It is not known through the course of the story whether the family follows the Ashkenaz tradition or the Sephard, but it does not really matter as they are not living in Ashkenaz and, therefore, the One Wife Ruling does not apply.The One Wife Ruling was only for Ashkenazim living among Christians!Should one return to the Holy Land (prior to the re-establishment of Israel) or otherwise leave the lands of the Christians, the Rule no longer applied as long as both parties were in agreement.I don't think Kueilan, David's wife, would have taken issue to the second wife as in China it was common among the wealthy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
This is one of these books where the research shows. I had NO idea that Jews were so settled into China before I read this book. Pearl did a wonderful job with writing this book, and the interplay of Jewish and Chinese heritage made for a very good read. Kudos for a good read - and a good history lesson!

5-0 out of 5 stars Universal Love
Pearl S. Buck's "Peony" is a lovely story that both touched me and informed me about an era of history of which I was unaware.The copy I found was a hardback published by the John Day Company in 1948; so I'm glad to see the story is currently in print.The story is an episodic tale that covers a number of years.Peony is a bondmaid that is apparently a well-treated slave.Buck's text discusses how her owners have the right to sell her, even separate spouses.Peony was sold by her parents as a baby and raised in one of the few Jewish households in China.As the Jewish families have blended with the Chinese, their Jewish identify has become less pure, eventually resulting in the abandonment of Judaism for Chinese philosophy.As Buck traces this, it is due to the welcoming nature of the Chinese whereas Jews in other parts of the world were separated and shunned.Through the wise Chinese merchant character of Kung Chen, Buck indicates that this is due to their own philosophy that theirs in the only God, which encourages their separation.The unrequited love of Peony for her master David and his development as he grows is quite beautiful.When Buck changes gears with the violence in Chapter VII, it happens so swiftly and abruptly that I felt literally stunned as a reader, unable to believe it had happened, much as one probably feels in life after a tragedy.As the story unfolds with David's marriage, the trip to Peking and the consequences of that visit, I found the ending strangely peaceful as Peony's love for David turns to a universal love for mankind.Peony is a masterful work 60 years after it was first published.Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Lovely, Haunting...
This is a wonderful story with well-drawn characters the reader can empathize with.When reading, you feel as if you have been picked up and plopped down in China, in the middle of this Chinese/Jewish household. I wanted it to go on forever.This book is profoundly sad and profoundly joyful at the same time, while also being interesting and informative.I was never before aware of Jews in China and now have a jumping-off point from which to do some research.Fascinating!The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was how quickly the end of the story came; near the finish of the book, the years pass too fast and everything is wound up.Mrs. Buck does not give us a "Hollywood" ending, however.She was a tremendously gifted storyteller, and I so look forward to reading her other works.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love and Duty Meet
I loved this story about a servant girl in a wealthy household and her selfless love and service. But, this is not a sugar-sweet story. Pearl Buck is an author who is able to take you to a time and place and make you feel the characters are real people. The twists and turns keep this book interesting. This is my favorite of her novels.

... Read more

4. Pavilion of Women
by Pearl S. Buck
Paperback: 316 Pages (2001)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 155921287X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
From the author of The Good Earth comes the story of Madame Wu, a woman whose surprising decision to retire from married life and select a concubine for her husband upsets her extended household. "A searching, adult study of women written with high seriousness and sympathy." - The New York Times Book Review ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful change of life story
Buck manages to create really strong female characters within the framework of traditional Chinese society. After reading this book, I sometimes find myself thinking, "How would Madame Wu act in this situation?"This is a book I'd want to give to any of my female friends as they reach the age of 40 - it conveys so beautifully how, as we age and know ourselves better, still there are discoveries to be made and surprises to be experienced.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great Pearl S Buck novel
Pavilion of Women tells the story of a privileged upper class woman, Madame Wu. Having reached middle age, she decides to retire from her responsibilities to her husband and family. She believes that by separating herself from these responsibilities, she will finally achieve happiness and freedom. Her life changes when she meet brother Andre, who is hired to tutor one of the sons of Madame Wu. An unusual relationship develops between these two characters. The reader expects this to turn into a typcial forbidden love affair. That is not the case. I don't want to give the story away. What I gained from the book is that true freedom is not dependent on our circumstances in life but it is a state of mind. Happiness can be found not by fulfulling selfish needs but by serving others and by taking the focus away from ourselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Ms. Buck's better works
Pavilion of Women is one of the novels that Ms. Buck wrote about the struggle of old vs new. Within the Wu household are bought concubines along with revolutionary wives who chose their husband and did not have their parents involved. Madame Wu is an interesting character who sparks a riveting tale with her decision. It might not be for everyone, but whether or not you're a Pearl S. Buck fan, you should enjoy this story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pavillion of Women
Another excellent Pearl Buck Book. A study of the Chinese culture and the role of women within the culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved Pavillion of Women
This book is wonderful--a captivating read, and Madame Wu is possibly the most dynamic, interesting, surprising and lovable character I've ever read.The story goes much deeper than you expect it to, and is ultimately an investigation into freedom, the spirit, and the nature of love and knowledge. ... Read more

5. A House Divided (Good Earth Trilogy, Vol 3)
by Pearl S. Buck
Paperback: 348 Pages (2006-01-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559210346
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A House Divided, the third volume of the trilogy that began with The Good Earth and Sons, is a powerful portrayal of China in the midst of revolution. Wang Yuan is caught between the opposing ideas of different generations. After 6 years abroad, Yuan returns to China in the middle of a peasant uprising. His counsin is a captain in the revolutionary army, his sister has scandalized the family by her premarital pregnancy, and his warlord father continues to cling to his traditional ideals. It is through Yuan's efforts that a kind of peace is restored to the family.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Splendid condition
I love the condition the book arrived in. I also appreciate the fact that the transaction and delivery process was done in an efficient way. Thanks!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good conclusion to the trilogy
This book mainly concentrates on the son of Wang the Tiger (and the grandson of the original Wang) but it does reveal a bit here and there of the three sons of Wang. Wang the Landlord and Wang the Merchant come across as spoiled even though they grew up on the farm and didn't get really rich until their adulthood. In this book, the Revolution is in full swing and it was interesting to see Wang's grandson deal with life in America. You can't help but feel sorry for poor Wang the Tiger after all he'd been through and what he did for his son to ensure the future of the son he loved. While 'The Good Earth' remains the best book in the trilogy - and one of Ms. Buck's best works overall - 'A House Divided' is a very good book in itself and is a definite must for any Pearl Buck fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sad to see it end
The first two books in the Trilogy were so good that I was skeptical the final book could keep up the momentum but this was fantastic.

It leads the Wangs into modernity with relevant historical facts hidden in the deep heart of the Tiger's only son who struggles to find his place in the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Chinese equivalent of Tolstoyism.
The best of the trilogy. Pearl S Buck creates a Tolstoyesque picture of Chinese agrarian life: harsh, simple, man vs nature. Important today in understanding Chinese roots and how far that huge nation has come in the past few decades.

3-0 out of 5 stars Least favorite of the trilogoy
The final book in the House of Earth trilogy was my least favorite and most disconnected of the three.She jumps into the third generation and third book with not a whole lot of background or character development (except for Yuan), so I cared the least about the characters, their situations and trials.The story was interesting, but I found that I could not relate as well to the characters or understand their plight.But I think she did a marvelous job at showing the differences between the generations and how exposure to new ideas, cultures and technology can quickly change the traditions of a culture; sometimes the change is good and beneficial, sometimes it's detrimental.I also like how she juxtiposed Yuan, who tries to hold on to his tradition and country and resists change, to other family members who embraced the change with all their hearts.I think that The Good Earth is a brillant read, but if you missed the next two in the trilogy it wouldn't be a tragedy. ... Read more

6. The Mother
by Pearl S. Buck
Paperback: 304 Pages (2004-01-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559210915
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Within this novel Ms. Buck paints the portrait of a poor woman living in a remote village whose joys are few and hardships are many. As the ancient traditions, which she bases her philosophies upon, begin to collide with the new ideals of the communist era, this peasant woman must find a balance between them and deal with the consequences. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not her best work
I am a big fan of Ms. Buck's work. I read and loved 'Pavilion of Women', 'Imperial Woman', and 'Peony', but this book was lacking. There were just too many things left unexplained. Her husband's disappearance seems more of a cheap plot point than a real plot device. The death of her daughter felt again like a cheap plot point, and her son's death... ehh. I enjoyed this book at first, but as it went on, the story didn't feel as coherent as it had before. Sorry to say, but this isn't the best of Ms. Buck's stories. I guess you can't win them all.

5-0 out of 5 stars MOTHER
I really enjoyed this book. As a parent myself you only want what is best for your child.Sometimes you make choices as mother did with her daughter that you cannot forsee and in your own heart you cannot forgive.Life for mother was a hard and painful at times yet she found the good too.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Loved this Book and Highly Recommend it
For those who didn't like this book as much, I believe they missed something.I thought this was great writing and in many ways her best.The lack of The Mother's name is insignificant. You know when you're reading who is being referred to.The story is the important part.
This book involves much about honor and "saving face" and how important that was to the Chinese and in the peasants case, they had little else.When the mother starts her web of lies, to hide her shame, one lie leads to a bigger lie and before she knew it, she had spun some very sophisticated lies with props to go with them.As many believed, rich and poor, in that time and place, the sins made the Gods angry and the Gods got even.The mother believed it was her sins that caused her ultimate tragedies which were inflicted on those she loved most.
I was absolutely intrigued with this story and believe that a woman might appreciate and understand it more than a man.A woman's life was so much more meaningless than a mans and once her sons married, she suddenly became more insignificant with little say in anything and little to look forward to.A good read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Skimworthy, perhaps, but Buck had the right of it.
Pearl S. Buck, The Mother (Pocket, 1934)

It is hard to know what to make of this early novel (her fourth) by Pearl S. Buck, who had won the Pulitzer Prize the year before for The Good Earth (her second) and would, in a few years, be a Nobel laureate. Hard because it is difficult to reconcile such a widely-acclaimed author with a novel such as this.

In her autobiography, Buck mentions that she almost destroyed the manuscript of The Mother, fearing it wasn't as good as her previously published novels. In this, she was correct. The Mother is not so much a novel as it as a combination of character study and morality play. Other reviewers have commented on the Biblical nature of the events herein, which is likely as apt a description as one is likely to find. The story revolves around, of course, a mother. She is never named, nor are any other members of her family (her husband's last name is mentioned once in the book's two hundred pages, but in such a way as to make it as forgettable as possible). One assumes this is an attempt to give the characters an "everyman" quality. The mother and her family have a hard life, and the mother's life gets harder as time goes on. The crux of the story happens about halfway through the novel, when she is forced to make a decision she ends up regretting for the rest of her life; she blames her hardships from there on out on that decision, forgetting that the hardships that came before put her in that position. (In other words, this is not a criticism of the novel so much as of the character; it is entirely possible Buck meant the character to be erroneous in her judgments, but that doesn't make it any less annoying.) In essence, the novel becomes the chronicles of the hardships of one person, a relentless, depressing catalog of failures unleavened by any successes whatsoever.

Other reviewers have also commented on the universality of the character. I pity them, and anyone else who overidentifies with the mother here. Anyone who has truly suffered this much hardship without the slightest glimmer of joy has been dealt the worst of lots in life, and need all the escapism they can get. It is probable, however, that the majority of readers do, at least, have a few moments of happiness, or at least contentment, now and again. They are rather more likely to question the tunnelvision of the character, and perhaps that of the author as well. Rightly so. * ½

4-0 out of 5 stars A womans spirit!
For any woman who's feeling a bit put-upon, a bit hard done by, "The Woman" would soon shake her back into perspective.I know that this has ever been the lot of women in poor farming communities in third world countries, but it's frightening to realise just how little things have changed since these long past times of the beginning of the beginning of communism in China.We never learn the mothers name as she is simply that--the mother of the children of a poor farmer, a co-worker in the fields and the carer of his elderly mother. It's a hand to mouth existence with only the hope of enough food to sustain them on a daily basis and enough money from the crops that they can spare to be sold, to pay the rent of their fields. When her husband runs off in search of a more exciting life, the mother is left with the care of the family and is forced to work like a beast of burden in order to exist. Only her indomitable spirit sustains them ,even though her life is shattered by a series of events that would break a lesser woman. ... Read more

7. Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography
by Peter Conn
Paperback: 500 Pages (1998-01-28)
list price: US$52.00 -- used & new: US$44.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521639891
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
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.Amazon.com Review
Quick: name the only two female American novelists ever to winthe Nobel Prize. Most literati can get Toni Morrison;many fewer remember that Pearl Buckwon the world's most prestigious literary prize in 1938, largely onthe strength of her celebrated first book, The Good Earth. PeterConn'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. PearlBuck, the woman, wife, and mother is a bit more difficult todiscern. Even her most intimate relations, including her children,seemed to find her a distant figure. Pearl Buck is overdue for acritical reappraisal in the United States--perhaps this book will helplaunch it. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Biography and a history lesson too
I just finished reading this biography and was very impressed.Certainly I had heard of Pearl Buck over the years but somehow missed reading any of her novels.What a terrible loss that would have been!While reading Conn's biography, I decided to put it aside briefly and read Pearl Buck's "The Good Earth." What a fascinating novel. I was truly mesmorized by her timeless and beautiful prose.I continued on with Conn's biography of Ms. Buck and was equally impressed by the true life story of this remarkable woman.Without a doubt, she was a woman well ahead of her time.As a bonus, Conn provides a relatively in-depth discussion and analysis of world events during Buck's lifetime. As interesting as it is informative. After reading Conn's bio, I have begun reading the many books that Pearl Buck has authored.She was a prolific writer so this will be no easy undertaking, but I am eager for the challenge.Now that I know more about her life, I believe it will add a great deal more to the reading experience.Conn's writing style is straight forward and easy to read.He brought Pearl Bucks personality and accomplishments to life for me...and for that I will be eternally grateful.There is something for everyone here because of the breadth of the material. Its definitely worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening Book!
I love reading biographical books since my childhood, although I don't know why. Among those books, this book and 1951 biography on Paul Ehrlich, the Father of Chemotherapy, were the most enlightening ones for me, as they changed both my life style and career. The 1951 book converted me from an artist to a scientist who would pursue the chemotherapy of cancers.

This book on Pearl Buck urged me to be a humanistic person who would side with the minority (unprivileged people). Since I am a scientist, I did read only a few books among her over 80 novels, such as "The Good Earth", "The Big Wave", "The Bible Story", and "Pavilion of Women" which were introduced by this book.

The most impressive role that she played in second half of her life mainly in US was a bridge between two different cultures, West and East (Orient), by promoting the multi-culturalism.

I spent my first three decades in Japan, and then over 35 years in the West (US, Europe and Australia), which would be a mirror image of hers, who spent her first four decades in China, and the rest in US, her own country.

I also like her unique view towards Christianity. Although she was grown a daughter of the American missionary in China, she eventually left the Christianity, and decided to achieve her cultural mission in her own way, independent of any religion. Her open mind could not accept the religeous sectionalism and the racism between different colors of skin.

When US gets willing to welcome Obama the first intermixed president, the value of her multi-culturalism and open mind would be greatly re-appreciated as the basic foundation of democracy in the whole world.

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZINGLY well written.
If you like biographies and are a sophisticated reader, this book is spot on. Every sentance was a work of art. As a woman writer - the story of Pearl Buck was particularly fascinating and inspiring.

3-0 out of 5 stars Stunned by Conn's acrimony
I've just finished reading this compelling biography about one of my favorite authors. I can't it rank five stars, even though I'd like to, because I'm STUNNED by Conn's acrimonious protrayal of Christianity and Protestant missionaries in China. He's totally accepted Pearl's often limited and onesided perceptions, and then gone even further off track. Of course, what both of them say is true to a minute degree, but there's so very much more to the whole picture that they omit. I feel qualified to make this observation since I'm writing a trilogy of novels inspired by my family's century of close ties with China. The first book, based on my grandparents who moved to China in 1892, is entitled Hungry River: A Yangtze Novel, which is now available on Amazon. My father was born in China in 1904, as was I in 1942. I have a son born in Taiwan in 1968. My family rejoices in our international Christian heritage, which joins that of thousands of Chinese. I wonder if Conn is aware that today there may be as many as 80 million Christians in China in spite of decades of horrific persecution? That one statistic alone should be enough to balance his frighteningly negative analysis. In conclusion, I do agree with Conn's evaluation of the place Pearl's writings should have in American and world literature. I hope his biography will help her once more achieve her rightful literary stature. At the same time, I do regret deeply his evaluation does not bring fair balance to her extreme views of Christianity and Protestant missionaries among the Chinese in China. I hope he reads Hungry River!

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Portrayal of an Extraordinary Woman
Peter Conn's sweeping biography of Pearl Buck is as fascinating and provocative as Ms. Buck herself. I have been an admirer of Buck's writing for years, however I never knew the true depth of her character and achievements until I read Conn's book. Not only was the Nobel Prize winner an excellent writer and champion of Chinese causes, but she was a staunch supporter of civil and women's rights, a tireless fundraiser, and an advocate for inter-racial/international adoption. She was a fearless and often controversial speaker on behalf of the under-represented and oppressed, and made a great impact on public opinion towards racial and gender equality. Conn covers all of these diverse aspects of Pearl Buck beautifully. His book is very well researched, well organized, and well written. He presents all sides of his subject - good and bad - in an unflinching and intelligent manner. He discusses the circumstances under which Buck wrote her greatest books, her first 40 years in China, and her experiences as a prominent global literary figure. I couldn't put the book down - it was wonderful to discover that the writer whose books I have cherished for so many years had lead such a compelling and multi-faceted life. There is much more to Pearl Buck than even her impressive body of literary work suggests - and Peter Conn has done a tremendous job of revealing the many sides of this remarkable woman. ... Read more

8. Dragon Seed (Buck, Pearl S. Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck.)
by Pearl S. Buck
Paperback: 384 Pages (2006-01-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559210338
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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To the Chinese the dragon is not an evil creature, but is a god and the friend of men who worship him. He "holds in his power prosperity and peace." Ruling the waters and the winds, he sends the good rain, is hence the symbol of fecundity. In the Hsia dynasty two dragons fought a great duel until both disappeared, leaving only a fertile foam from which were born the descendants of the Hsia. Thus, the dragons came to be looked upon as the ancestors of a race of heroes.

This is the story of China at War.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

1-0 out of 5 stars Yes, it's China; yes, it'sfrom Buck, BUT...Fooey! Pulp fiction genre
I've been enjoying reading Buck, after "The Good Earth", choosing books to a large extent based on cost and Amazon reviews.

If anyone had written a review representing "Dragon Seed" as I experienced it, I'd NEVER have invested in it. It'sthe only book Iever ordered, which I was tempted not only to leave unfinished,but which I had to restrain myself from physically tossing out.

That's because I felt this book's sloppy, disorganized writing and shallow characterization were actually harming my own ability to write quality fiction. (Bad writing DOES have a contagion, the same as does good writing).

The quality is admittedly variable in "Dragon Seed" but that's just another flaw of the book - its unevenness. The reliance on outrageous coincidence - a known Buck gimmick - is at its utter nadir here.

Without, I hope, containing any "spoilers", let me just ask those of you who DO complete this low-level Buck fiction: So, how would YOU characterize the last ~ third of the book? I refer especially to the account of the youngest brother's "fix-it" match-making and romance (not to mention his slapped-together post-traumatic character development)? Are we supposed to buy the notion that any post-Revolutionary Chinese warlord was suckered into his quasi idealism this way, or could have found such a nutsy help-meet to counter his blood-thirsty personal vendetta?

I had to force myself to chew and swallow this section, inwardly gagging in much the same way a cheapskate finishes a fatty, indigestible restaurant meal because he paid for it.

I could feel in my gut, Buck's own lack of interest and desperation to wind up - plausibly or not (NOT!) - this primarily propagandistic anti-Japanese polemic. I am mystified why other reviewers describe themselves as awe-struck! I can only conclude that those with any literary aesthetics, slapped it down in disgust early on. Thus, there's a response bias among reviews toward slavish Buck devotion among the population of readers who didn't abandon this trashy book mid-way.

Most of the writing doesn't rise above the level of "True Confessions" or "Modern Romances". Sorry, but if it hadn't been about Old China, the Emperor's nudity would have been remarked right away. I found myself angry with both myself and Buck long before finishing. She took advantage of her fan base to get away with literary murder.

I will be a voice in the wilderness here, but hopefully, this one negative review will give pause to other potential buyers, so they can avoid (as I wish I had) wasting time and money on this vintage SUB-PAR Buck. At least, let there be one strong dissent! I will certainly rely on the Public Library for the rest of my (largely escapist) Buck reading. Thanks to this experience, I see there is too much risk of happening on others that are not only not worth owning - but which (like this one) aren't even worth borrowing for free!

Be forewarned, those of you unable to tolerate outrageously improbable smarm - even cloaked in fascinating exotica. Your ability to lose yourself in this story for escapist purposes, may be tried so sorely by "DragonSeed", you can't forget your own rainy day!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is one of my favourite books of all time. The book is set in China, during the lead up to the second world war. It details the Japanese invasion of China in the late 1930s, and how it affects the fictional Ling Tan family. For those interested in a non-fictional account of part of this period, 'The Rape of Nanking' by Iris Chang is worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pictures painted in your mind with words
I was recently handed this book by my wonderful mother-in-law. It is taped together with duct tape, has yellowed pages that fall out when you turn the page. She assured me it was a great book. Having read The Good Earth, I was excited to get this book, but I had no idea what I was in for. I struggle to find the words to describe the beauty of the language and the clear descriptions of the feelings and places in this tragic story. To be honest I have not even finished it yet, but I just had to go on Amazon to see if other people loved this book as much as I do. Read this book. It will leave its mark on you!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dragon Seed (Pearl S. Buck)
Pearl S. Buck is a master writer of the orient.As you read her novels you feel as though you are experiencing what Ms. Buck writes about.I did not want to put the book down once I began reading.But I must say that all of Ms. Buck's books have intrigued me and have held my interest.The end of her books left me wanting for more.

4-0 out of 5 stars Deep Into the Human Soul...But Too Quick an Ending...
I have now read 5 or 6 books by Pearl Buck, and I couldn't admire her writing more.This book moved me, as Ms. Buck states the thoughts and feelings of her characters that are so basic and so close to us that they could be uttered by our very own hearts.The only thing that was disappointing about this particular book is that I felt the ending came too quickly without us getting to know or see the outcomes of some of the characters.On the whole, though, a memorable and heart-rending book whose themes go deeply with all of us. ... Read more

9. Sons (Good Earth Trilogy, Vol 2)
by Pearl S. Buck
Paperback: 320 Pages (2005-01-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$58.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559210397
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Second in the trilogy that began with The Good Earth, Buck's classic and starkly real tale of sons rising against their honored fathers tells of the bitter struggle to the death between the old and the new in China. Revolutions sweep the vast nation, leaving destruction and death in their wake, yet also promising emancipation to China's oppressed millions who are groping for a way to survive in a modern age. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the original, nothing ever is!
Pearl Buck is my absolute favorite, and I quickly read through this novel after reading Good Earth again (I've read it nearly a dozen times, it is my favorite).Out of the trilogy, Sons is my least favorite, although it is still good and gives some really good biographical information on a Chinese man of the time.Focusing mostly on Wang the Tiger, I enjoyed the second half immensely.If you read Sons, be ready to get right into A House Divided (the last third of the trilogy), as this one leaves you hanging.

A great work by a great author.My love of The Good Earth just overshadowed this book, which is why it only got 4 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read!
I loved this book.Great follow up to The Good Earth.I am a new fan of Pearl S. Buck and am working my way thru everything she has written.

I have a special interest in China as my son was born there.It's interesting to read about the way people lived in China at that time.Yes, I know it's fiction but she drew from her knowledge of living in China for many years.Looking forward to the last book of the series.

3-0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
I only found out recently that there were sequels to The Good Earth and so I was anxious to read them. I was really disappointed in this book, it just did not really go anywhere. This book did not draw you in as the first one did. I could not get involved with the characters and it seems as if Ms. Buck was just trying to move the story along. I do not plan on reading the last of the trilogy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worthy continuation of Good Earth
I was dismayed to come to the end of Good Earth, but I was delighted to find out that this was but the first installment in a trilogy! While I liked Good Earth better than this, this book was still a very good read as we discover the fate of Wang Lung's sons, and Wang Lung's land itself.

4.5 out of 5 stars. Now I am more than ready to start 'A House Divided'!

5-0 out of 5 stars Chinese Generational Conflict before Amy Tan.
Generational conflict in China as the country undergoes dramatic political and economic changes. As relevant today as yesterday in understanding the Chinese people. ... Read more

10. Imperial Woman: The Story of the Last Empress of China (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck)
by Pearl S. Buck
Paperback: 384 Pages (2004-12-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559210354
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The story of Tzu Hsi is the story of the last Empress in China. In the novel Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck recreates the life of one of the most intriguing rulers during a time of intense turbulence.

Tzu Hsi was born into one of the lowly ranks of the Imperial dynasty. According to custom, she moved to the Forbidden City at the age of seventeen to become one of hundreds of concubines. But her singular beauty and powers of manipulation quickly moved her into the position of Second Consort.

Tzu Hsi was feared and hated by many in the court, but adored by the people. The Empress's rise to power (even during her husband's life) parallels the story of China's transition from the ancient to the modern way.

Pearl S. Buck's knowledge of and fascination with the Empress's life are contagious. She reveals the essence of this self-involved and infamous last Empress, at the same time she takes the reader through China's struggle for freedom and democracy.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

4-0 out of 5 stars absolutely love this book
i recently read this book for the second time..the first time i read it i was in 9th grade...but as i was reading it after so many years i felt it being so fresh in my mind,pearl s buck has portrayed the character of dowager so beautifully that u simply adore her for her courage & sharp mind....she surely is an example for the women of all over the world that if you have the courage & determination you can face anything in life.i love this book,i would love my daughter to read this book(iam gonna have to wait for a long time as she is only 2 yet)!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Changing Dowager
The text is a serious work of fiction.I learned much about the people and the time they lived in.Overall, the picture of China at the time seemed to be accurate.The flaw of the book is the facts available have changed the portrait of the Dowager Queen.These facts were not available to Buck at the time.But I think the ruthless and political infighting would have been the same if for a different reason.

5-0 out of 5 stars Imperial Woman
True to Pearl Buck's writing, this novel is an excellent read!This was a used book, but in excellent condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars interesting peek behind a (19th century) closed border
There are some slight weaknesses to this so this could be 4 1/2 stars.
When I realized what this book was about I was quite surprised to find that a woman had ruled all of China to as recently as 1908, and for that reason alone it seemed like a promicing read, but it's even more then that.

This is a rare look into a different time and place with a different perspective. Principally this book is something of a biography of the Empress of China from 1861-1908, but starts some years before this period. One weakness is so little of the common China is dealt with. But it's a good look behind the palace walls and the thinking that transpires behind it, and indeed it is written from the empress's eye view...so little if any is seen from the eyes of the common people or even of her immediate suboordinates.

This is undoubtedly something of a romantisized and probably softened look at this ruler, and it would be interesting to find a second "opinion" story or even an autobiography of this Empress, if such a work exists (does it? anyone know?). This would give the reader a couple of views, as indeed Pearl speaks of the existance of a very negative view that also prevailed about this ruler at the time, but she never seems to take this on or expound this perspective.

No doubt this could be a eye opener to those who are not too in favour of women in power. But this book has some curious things to say about women in power as well, which come from the women themselves...which might serve as a cautionary note as well.

Though I found this book quite interesting for these reasons alone, it did something for the reader that I found facinating, though it took a while before this became evident. We are allowed to become so submerged into the thinking and ways of the Chinese ruler during this period, we begin to see from their perspective on the intrusions of the colonials making inroads into China during this time. We can empathise with them when they try to ward off and obfuscate the forceful traders, and we even find ourselves not liking those who would force thier ways and goods onto the Chinese for their own gain. One wonders what might have been had the Chinese been equal in military capacity to the intruders.

This is a very interesting book and it gives the reader a rare glimpse in behind a wall that is usualy closed to the outsider. One got the feeling of a rare freedom to "look around" and out from behind the Great wall.

4-0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable read
This story is set as a biography of Yehonala/Yehenara/Tzu Hsi/Empress Dowager Cixi, and was overall a good read. But as a novel only, mind you.

The details of Tzu Hsi's life (especially her early life) are largely unknown, and many people smeared her good name (like Edmund Backhouse), so this novel is meant to be just that - a novel, because in this story, Yehenara has an affair - one of the many Backhouse spread, though Pearl Buck's portrayal of Cixi is much, MUCH kinder even with the affair (and a few other things later on in the story) This was written in an era where Edmund Backhouse's filthy (and later revealed to be false) stories of Yehenara were still widely believed (and used as a source!) It should not be read as an actual biography of Tzu Hsi's life, though I still recommend this book as a good read/novel. If you enjoyed Ms. Buck's other works, you will definitely enjoy this. ... Read more

11. The Story Bible
by Pearl S. Buck
Hardcover: 528 Pages (1997-07-07)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$138.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517149818
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Story Bible
Did not want to put it down.Just wish it went through the entire Bible.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good Bible intro for little folks.
This is the only Bible story book I will use for my grandkids.
Buck knows the scriptures and respects them. She writes very well. She sticks very close to what is written in the Bible without alot of conjecture to enhance the story.That makes it valuable to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pearl Buck book
Someone started reading this wonderful book to my 90 year old mama and she wanted her own when they were finished. However it is out of print. I was able to secure a brand new one on this site. It is all the stories many of us know from the Bible in "plain" English. A nice addition to any library and might be a lot of comfort to any oldsters a person might visit.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love Pearl Buck
Pearl Buck won the Nobel Prize for Lit for The Good Earth. She was raised by her missionary parents in China. In The Story Bible. She take away many religious implications and leaves us with the great story that the bible is.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Story Bible
I purchased 3 of these books, they were all in great condition, great shipping and packaging.Will use this seller again. ... Read more

12. Kinfolk (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck)
by Pearl S. Buck
Paperback: 414 Pages (2004-01-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$8.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559211563
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Ms. Buck tells us that East and West can meet on the ground of affectionate understanding and that human similarities can prevail over the gulf between cultures....She has something to say and she says it with lucid ease....If she has a mission she can also tell a story. She writes consistently and successfully to be read; she writes consistently; and she writes successfully. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Probably my favorite
This could well be my favorite of Pearl Buck's books...right up there with PEONY.One thing I liked was that there was no war in it,just family relations.Oh, there was mention of communism rising, but that was incidental.

5-0 out of 5 stars Richly textured bi-cultural family fabric
This is Pearl S. Buck at her most bewitching. At first she draws figures as clear as those in a coloring book. But soon, no one is quite who they seemed at first. The wise father is a bit cowardly and impure. The pesty little sister has great emphathy. The unsophisticated mother displays immense insight, and so on. Through their travails in New York, and in their ancestral village near Peking, the 4 Liang children and their parents will stay in your mind as fully-fleshed characters you were happy to know, and learned something in the process.

4-0 out of 5 stars Four American-born Chinese children come of age
This story covers the coming-of-age of four American-raised Chinese young people in the early 1900's. James, a talented young surgeon, decides to devote his life to serving the poor in China, and his siblings follow him. His teacher-sister Mary is equally devoted, but their younger brother Peteris disillusioned by the China he sees & listens sympathetically to thegrowing communist party.The youngest sister, Louise, has become verywesternized & can imagine no home for herself but America.The storypaints an interesting picture of how these brothers & sisters struggleto find their own identity in a world that is no longer simple. ... Read more

13. The China Mystique: Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, Mayling Soong, and the Transformation of American Orientalism
by Karen J. Leong
Paperback: 260 Pages (2005-07-25)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$16.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520244230
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Throughout the history of the United States, images of China have populated the American imagination. Always in flux, these images shift rapidly, as they did during the early decades of the twentieth century. In this erudite and original study, Karen J. Leong explores the gendering of American orientalism during the 1930s and 1940s. Focusing on three women who were popularly and publicly associated with China--Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, and Mayling Soong--Leong shows how each negotiated what it meant to be American, Chinese American, and Chinese against the backdrop of changes in the United States as a national community and as an international power.
The China Mystique illustrates how each of these women encountered the possibilities as well as the limitations of transnational status in attempting to shape her own opportunities. During these two decades, each woman enjoyed expanding visibility due to an increasingly global mass culture, rising nationalism in Asia, the emergence of the United States from the shadows of imperialism to world power, and the more assertive participation of women in civic and consumer culture. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)


5-0 out of 5 stars THE CHINA MYSTIQUE: Perception, Transformation and Identity
China endured a series of dramatic, and often tumultuous transformations in the last century. The 1930's and 1940's, in particular, were decades of major political, social, economic and technological change, and consequently, of major shifts in perception and awareness of the Asian nation and its people by the United States.

Karen J. Leong's THE CHINA MYSTIQUE: Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, Mayling Soong, and the Transformation of American Orientalism, a work of solid scholarship and uncommon acuity, focuses on America's evolving images of China during these decades, specifically as reflected in the public lives of three diverse and singular women widely identified with the emerging nation: Pearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong and Mayling Soong. Scrupulously researched, the book is academic in tone, and written with precision, perception and clarity.

Leong argues that the ability to travel, and the nascent global mass-culture of the day granted these women a broader field of recognition and enhanced form of celebrity than hitherto attainable, thus facilitating a greater sphere of influence contributing to the gendering (or feminization) of a distant country traditionally held to be completely patriarchal, alien and inscrutable to Western eyes.

Adapting the late Edward Said's notion of orientalism--a highly politicized analysis of European colonial perspectives of "the Orient," and the resulting and enduring power relations between Asia and the West--Leong defines "American orientalism" as a distorted image of the Chinese as "primitive, slavish, exotic, manipulative, and amoral." She writes that these images were diametrically opposed to the positive traits of modernity, freedom and fidelity celebrated in American nationalism.

These negative images began to erode with increased immigration and diplomacy between China and the United States, and also through the efforts of American protestant mission boards. As China evolved into a strategically significant ally in the struggle against Japanese aggression, the old images were replaced by a romanticized and progressive view of China. Leong defines this Americanized and "highly gendered" reimaging as the "China mystique."

The author posits these evolving perceptions of Nationalist China concurrent with the United States' own immergence as a world power, and identifies the transformation of "American orientalism" to the "China mystique" as adjunct to America's rise to globalism. This shift of perception is an underlying theme of the book, and Leong masterfully studies the nuances, inconsistencies, contradictions and real power of this change.

Ultimately, this is as much a book about America and Americans, as it is about China.

In the book, Leong examines these women whose "transnational" association with China rendered each a personification of a specific aspect of the Sino-American cultural and political axis: Pearl S. Buck, a European American novelist who spent much of her life in China and was recognized worldwide as an uniquely qualified authority on China and the Chinese, Anna May Wong, a Los Angeles-born Chinese American actress who endeavored to cultivate a hybrid identity embracing both cultures, and Mayling Soong, (more commonly known as Madame Chaing Kai-shek), an American-educated daughter of a westernized Chinese capitalist who garnered sympathy and support for the often repressive Nationalist government as the eloquent and charismatic "First Lady" of China.

If these women helped to put an accessible and very feminine face on China, it was hardly one of traditional timidity and subordination. Instead, it was a countenance that expressed the newfound independence and the fluidity of identity befitting a "New China" and its stature as an emerging democracy. In fact, their unique positions and development of multifarious identities granted each of the women elements of power not typically afforded persons of their gender and/or race at that time.

Buck, Wong and Soong each tested the limits of their transnational status, and Leong expresses their particular experiences within broader political, cultural and historical contexts. It seems that the distinct negotiations of the cultural and political landscape, and the fluid assumption of identity through self-definition evidenced by these women is their lasting legacy.

In the end, Leong exposes America's thorough reassessment and seemingly enlightened appreciation of China and the Chinese in the outward embrace of progressivism, modernity and democratization for an expedient and opportune stance assumed in its own transformation from an isolationist nation to a global power. She also demonstrates how Buck, Wong and Soong each encountered reversals and barriers in their individual careers despite this period of enlightened perspectives on China.

Still, Leong is adept at separating propaganda and hypocrisy from the actual experience and expressions of power manifested in the lives and words of Buck, Wong and Soong. She acknowledges the real long-term and far-reaching effects that these women had on the development of cultural pluralism and the myriad ways in which American citizens choose to define themselves as a national community.

Leong's book is narrow in focus and specific in scope, but expansive in themes and relevance. As an account of personae in a specific historical milieu, a cultural study of perceptions of Americans and Chinese (and Chinese Americans) in the 1930's and 1940's, and as a thought provoking treatment of themes of identity, race, gender and nationality Leong's book succeeds on all levels.

... Read more

14. The Exile
by Pearl Buck
 Paperback: Pages (1976-02-01)
list price: US$1.75
Isbn: 0671803220
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars You'll Never Forget This Book
I read this after Pearl Buck's classic, "The Good Earth".As much as I adored The Good Earth, I loved The Exile even more.It's the true story of Pearl's mother from her childhood in the United States to her marriage and move to China.The story of her courage during the Boxer Rebellion was inspiring.Her sorrow over the loss of children was almost unbearable.Her strength through it all was a triumph. ... Read more

15. Burying The Bones: Pearl Buck in China (Import)
by Hilary Spurling
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2010)

Isbn: 1861978286
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This is a thrilling portrait of the extraordinary childhood of Pearl Buck, the now-forgotten bestselling Nobel Prize winning novelist. Pearl Buck was raised in China by her American parents, Presbyterian missionaries from Virginia. Blonde and blue-eyed she looked startlingly foreign, but felt as at home as her Chinese companions. She ran free on the grave-littered grasslands behind her house, often stumbling across the tiny bones of baby girls who had been suffocated at birth. Buck's father was a terrifying figure, with a maniacal zeal for religious conversion - a passion rarely shared by the local communities he targeted. He drained the family's budget for his Chinese translation of the New Testament, while his aggrieved, long-suffering wife did her utmost to create a homely environment for her children, several of whom died tragically young. Pearl Buck would eventually rise to eminence in America as a bestselling author, but in this startlingly original biography, Spurling recounts with elegance and great insight her unspeakable upbringing in a China that was virtually unknown to the West. ... Read more

16. Living Reed: A Novel of Korea
by Pearl S. Buck
Paperback: 480 Pages (2004-01-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$6.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559210222
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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With The Living Reed, Ms. Buck has created a story of Korea in transition to the modern world through her characters. The sweep of history and the excitement of great events provide only part of the book's power:

The story is of a closely knit family dedicated to the salvation of their homeland, the preservation of their culture, and a move into the modern world from the archaic ways of the past. Korea, the golden pawn in the midst of the past. Korea, the golden pawn in the midst of centuries of struggle between China, Russia, and Japan, is finally on the brink of becoming independent.

All major public events and characters are authentic--from the assassination plots early in the book to the landing of American troops at the end. The Living Reed is compelled by the vivid detail of a remarkable people and culture, the unveiling of three love stories, and Buck's affinity for her subject.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars the living reed
This book was informative about the History of Korea but lacked strong charactors.It improved towards the end but this is not a book that I will reread.I have love Pearl Bucks books in the past but not this time.

3-0 out of 5 stars I think this book is very well worth reading.
The book The living Reed is a good book worth reading if one want to know more about Korean history in fictional form. The Korean history is interesting since the country always has been the cultural center of the Far East, between countries like Japan, China and Russia; Chinese culture have always been transformed in Korea on its way to Japan. Several countries didrecognize Korea important from both a geographical, political and cultural perspective. So important that these countries supported a war in Korea during the years of 1950-53. The two divided Korea is a living proof of this.

Pearl Buck is not a historical writer of accuracy but describes the Korean history and the Korean people in an interesting, fictional way that gives more understanding for the current situation on the Korean peninsula, a situation that have been neglected by the world too long. To say the less, Korea is still not well.known to the majority of Westerners, as much as Japan and China.

No, Koreans are not heroes more than anyone else but I truly believe that the people that contributed to the modern Korea of today should be remembered and acknowledged and Pearl Buck do it very well in this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Historical Accuracy?
It's an OK story.Worth reading.As to its historical accuracy, it is a novel which is a work of fiction.Most historical novels are not accurate--the novelist just takes a place and point in time and uses it to tell his/her story. Whether or not it is historical accurate isn't an issue-it is fiction.

4-0 out of 5 stars It is a good novel for people who are related to Korea.
There are many different ways to review the writings of any kind.Here we have an old novel written by a woman who grew up in China and understoodthe cultural differences. It is by no means the most accurate descriptionof Korean history or the way people lived of her time. However, I ended upadmiring her attempt to know better and in the end to have understood thepeople and the way of their living and struggle. Nobody can understand thecultural differences and the values of the society unless we live on bothsides of the world.That was what she did and used it for her writing. Itwas a good writing as a novel and described exactly the way of living ofthe Korean people during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Unbelievable? That is because you have no idea of the real core ofdifferent cultures.For example, my family maintains 1,000 years of writtenhistory of family geneology of my clan.It shows how we died during thestruggle and how we maintain our family by a written code of conduct basedon Humanism. That is the reason why Korean are nationalistic.That wasaccurately described in her writing.

1-0 out of 5 stars ....when she really started churning'em out
I'm no expert on Korea or Korean history, though I did live there for six months some years ago.At that time, I learned enough about the country to realize that THE LIVING REED is a joke.If you like soap opera, upliftingprose about valiant people striving to overcome whatever, then this bookcould be for you.But, if you like reasonably authentic background anddepiction of central characters who are not cardboard figures, then thinktwice before devoting too much of your time to such a book.Pearl Buck hada hit with 'The Good Earth', true.But she tried to capitalize on that andchurned out more and more 'uplifting sagas' of this type.OK, so maybe shedid it to increase understanding of Asia in the USA.It was for a goodcause.But what we are doing here is reviewing books.This book is justnot very good.Times have changed and it's out of fashion (happily) toregard individuals of any one nation as particularly charged with moralvalues, fighting spirit, special will power, etc.These traits are prettywell spread across the human race.You will not find this observationsalient in THE LIVING REED.The Koreans are portrayed as a nation ofheroes and heroines.That's bunk.They are people just like everyoneelse.However, it IS true that this is a second-rate novel just like a lotof Buck's others. ... Read more

17. The Promise (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck Series)
by Pearl S. Buck
Paperback: 256 Pages (2004-01-01)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$5.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559212098
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

While the Japanese army attacks Burma Road during World War II, a band of Chinese soldiers are sent to rescue a British-American platoon, pinned down in Burma. The dangers that await the brave soldiers are heightened, as they encounter an unthankful ness from the foreign soldiers that they hadn't expected.

Confronted with an impending attack from the Japanese, growing tension from the Anglo-American forces, the Chinese soldiers must make a difficult choice: abandon their posts or continue on with a suicidal mission.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Promise by Pearl S. Buck
The Promise continues the story from The Dragon Seed and I enjoyed reading it so much.Sheng and Mayli's love is put on hold yet again as they sacrifice all in order to fulfill their duty to their country.How can they enjoy happiness when all around them are struggling just to survive? When the orders are given by the Chairman that the best of the Chinese soldiers are to be sent to Burma to rescue the British and American troops trapped there, they all know that this is a suicidal mission.The outcome will not be good but the loyal soldiers go anyway, determined to give their all for China.Sheng, the favorite of the Chinese General is to lead his men on the march to Burma, and then into battle against the Japanese; Mayli, whom Sheng loves, is going also, in charge of the nurses who will care for the dying and wounded--but neither knows that they will both be involved in the same battle.The hopeless situation they both find themselves in, the struggle to survive in a jungle environment, and ultimately trying to determine what is best to do when all is lost and only a handful have remained alive is a story of courage and determination that few are willing to sacrifice for.You will have to read the story to discover how loyalty and love gives one strength they did not know they possessed.

If you love the writing of Pearl S. Buck, you will not be disappointed in this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars identifying sequels
I'm wondering why the book covers do not identify The Promise as a sequel to Draqon Seed.I discovered this by accident as being very fond of Pearl Buck's writing I ordered The Promise and immediately recognized the Chinese family identified in the first chapter.However, nowhere on the cover or inside the book does it say this nor does Dragon Seed identify itself as a prequel.IS THERE A SEQUEL TO THE PROMISE...I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN ORDERING IT.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not one of Buck's best, but eminently readable
"The Promise" like all Buck's books I have read that are set in China, gives a compelling portrait of the country and its people.Set during the early years of World War II when the Japanese army was pounding the Burma Road, "The Promise" relates the story of a brave division of Chinese who have been sent on a suicide mission to rescue the remnants of an Anglo-American force trapped in Burma.There are a couple of telling portraits of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his wife that show them in all their venality; their remoteness from the individual masses of Chinese arouses more contempt than admiration.What really affects the reader is the disdain of the Anglo soldiers toward the Chinese who attempt to rescue them and whom, in their desperation to escape from the Japanese, they abandon to their fate, cutting off their retreat and leaving them to save themselves.The open contempt the English express towards the native Burmese ("We own this country, after all; it's part of our Empire"), and their genuine puzzlement when the Chinese confront them about their attitudes, shows up all too clearly their inherent sense of superiority which is based on nothing but a blind ethnocentricism.Buck's sympathies clearly lie with the valiant Chinese who are seething under a viciously brutal Japanese occupation and longing for freedom, but not at the price of European domination.We don't get to know her characters in "The Promise" as intimately as in some of her other books, but we admire them none the less for their courage and their self-sacrifice."The Promise" is not on a par with "The Good Earth" or "The Three Daughters of Madame Liang", but it's definitely a worthwhile read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pearl S. Buck's The PromiseMy favourite book
Well, I might say this is a great book, believe me.It was the first book i read of the author and I enjoy it for over 7 years.And for 6 years ilooked it all over my country and didn't found it.[thanks God there areplaces like Amazon.com:-) ] This novel makes you dream inside thecharacters.I love China, although I am not of that country and this bookmakes me feel the difficulties of the epoch, the thinking and the hope ofpeople.I can grant that you won't be dissapointed.4 stars up!ENJOY

4-0 out of 5 stars A book you HAVE to read, but might be dissappointed.....
If you read Dragon Seed, the prequel to this book, you will know that you read this book because you couldn't live with the ending that was given!So you read this book and it continues to provide more historicalinformation and answer some of those questions that you had from the lastbook.However, by the time this book ends, you seem to have more questionsthan before.I won't spoil it for you, but I was thinking that perhaps thetitle might explain all unanswered questions simutaneously!Also, the booktends to become a little boring at some parts.Yet every second of boredomis compensated for by later events of extreme excitement.Doubtlesslythough, it is a GREAT book and a fine sequel, though more could have beendone with the plot.Read it! ... Read more

18. Christmas Day in the Morning
by Pearl S. Buck
Hardcover: 40 Pages (2002-10-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$9.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688162673
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Rob wants to get his father something special for Christmas this year -- something that shows how much he really loves him. But it's Christmas Eve, and he doesn't have much money to spend. What could he possibly get? Suddenly, Rob thinks of the best gift of all...

Author of nearly a hundred books for children and adults, and winner of both the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes, Pearl S. Buck has captured the spirit of Christmas in this elegant, heartwarming story about a boy's gift of love. Originally published in 1955, this classic story is now being issued, for the first time ever, as a picture book with glorious full-color art by acclaimed artist Mark Buehner.

A welcome addition to everyone's holiday collection, this timeless treasure will bring the true meaning of Christmas to the entire family for generations to come.

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Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Christmas Day in the Morning
This book is a wonderful book for all ages. It should be in every home and considered a Christmas classic.Timeless lesson of an unselfish heart and the blessings it gives. Simular to the Gift of the Magi in lesson

4-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite Christmas stories
This has always been one of my favorite Christmas stories, and a couple of years ago, my mom gave me this lovely hardcover version of it.

The story opens with a man remembering a long ago Christmas when money was scarce and he wanted to find the best possible gift for his father.Overhearing his father tell his mother how much he hates to waken his son each morning to do the milking, Rob realizes how much his father really does love him.He decides that the gift he will give his father is to do all the milking on Christmas morning, so that his father won't have to do it.

This is a lovely story of selfless love and service.The interactions between father and son are beautiful.An easy book for children to read and a perfect book to read aloud as a family.

5-0 out of 5 stars A timeless Christmas tale
This is a beautifully written story with gorgeous illustrations that reminds us that Christmas is not about the brightly wrapped gifts under the tree, it's about love. The father who notices that his child doesn't like getting up in the morning to do chores gives his son the gift of doing them for him. No secrets wrapped in bright paper, no consumerism -- just a simple gift given from the heart. This is a wonderful book to share with your children at the holidays; make it a tradition they will always remember and set aside special times to read this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great narrative!
I am a high school teacher, and I used this book at Christmas time to have "story time" and give them an example of a narrative. The text is easily found on several online sites, so I was able to make photocopies for my students, and it was a great intro to teaching narrative writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt story-good message
This is a classic book that has a warm message for the season.I liked that this story focused on giving/service rather than getting at Christmas.It led me to think of my own relationships with my relatives, and the reasons why I do things.The illustrations are good, and add to the message. ... Read more

19. My several worlds: A personal record
by Pearl S Buck
 Paperback: 472 Pages (1956)

Asin: B0007FBQPG
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Please to find first edition of Pearl S, Buck
I was happy to be able to find first edition of Pearl. S. Buck biography 1954, My several worlds. Interested as I am in XX century Chinese history, it has been very satisfying to be able to know about it through the personal writer life. I fully recommend it, to have a more accurate view of China history based on daily life details.
But previosly enjoy a time reading her fresh and beautiful novels.

3-0 out of 5 stars did not receive whole order
I ordered three of the same book.My Several Worlds and I only received two books. ... Read more

20. Pearl Buck, a Woman in Conflict
by Nora Stirling
 Hardcover: 357 Pages (1983-06)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$79.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0832902616
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