Pearl Buck in China

Journey to The Good Earth
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (9.23 hours)
Product Number: Z100023081
Released: Jun 01, 2010
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781608147236
Narrator/s: Hilary Spurling
Publisher: Oasis Audio
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One of the twentieth century's most extraordinary Americans, Pearl Buck was the first person to make China accessible to the West. She recreated the lives of ordinary Chinese people in The Good Earth, an overnight worldwide bestseller in 1932, later a blockbuster movie. Buck went on to become the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Long before anyone else, she foresaw China's future as a superpower, and she recognized the crucial importance for both countries of China's building a relationship with the United States. As a teenager she had witnessed the first stirrings of Chinese revolution, and as a young woman she narrowly escaped being killed in the deadly struggle between Chinese Nationalists and the newly formed Communist Party. Pearl wrote about the realities of the only world she knew in The Good Earth. It was one of the last things she did before being finally forced out of China to settle for the first time in the United States. She was unknown and penniless with a failed marriage behind her, a disabled child to support, no prospects, and no way of telling that The Good Earth would sell tens of millions of copies. It transfixed a whole generation of readers just as Jung Chang's Wild Swans would do more than half a century later. No Westerner had ever written anything like this before, and no Chinese had either. Buck was the forerunner of a wave of Chinese Americans from Maxine Hong Kingston to Amy Tan. Until their books began coming out in the last few decades, her novels were unique in that they spoke for ordinary Asian people- "translating my parents to me," said Hong Kingston, "and giving me our ancestry and our habitation." As a phenomenally successful writer and civil-rights campaigner, Buck did more than anyone else in her lifetime to change Western perceptions of China. In a world with its eyes trained on China today, she has much to tell us about what lies behind its astonishing reawakening.

Author(s): Hilary Spurling
Original Publish Date: Jun 01, 2010

All formats/editions

Author(s): Hilary Spurling
Product Number EB00570678
Released: Sep 25, 2014
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: #9781439180440

Professional reviews

"Hilary Spurling's biography follows the author of THE GOOD EARTH from her early childhood in a missionary family in China to her eventual fame as a writer. Spurling reads her book with an elegant British voice that gives it a scholarly feel. The even tones of her voice at times downplay the emotions of Buck's failing marriage and the controversy surrounding her works. Spurling's narration is strongest as she reveals the influences on Buck's writing, both in stories of Chinese heroines such as Mulan and in the author's own life. Buck's life is fascinating, even when Spurling's dry narration and emphasis on Buck's literary works don't do it full justice. J.A.S. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine"

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