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Pearl S. Buck

Pearl S. Buck
A Cultural Biography

$62.99 (P)

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  • Date Published: January 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521639897

$ 62.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Hardback received outstanding review coverage
    • First biography of a major figure - winner of a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize
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    • Winner of a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize for Literature

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Peter Conn's fine book, at once scholarly and readable, should do much to awaken awareness of her [Buck's] significant place in twentieth century American history....Drawing on his academic training in American Studies, he sets the events of her life against a rich background of Chinese and American political and social history. The impressive range of his research can be seen in the extensive notes, which fill almost seventy pages....His richly detailed and informative book should do much to encourage the reassessment of the life of this remarkable woman." Elizabeth Johnston Lipscomb, Magill's Literary Annual

    "Conn examines almost every piece of work Buck ever wrote and explains why it's important today....[he] has gone far beyond merely touting Buck's literary merits to portray a consistent, believable and immensely fascinating woman. This is biography at its best: informative and entertaining....Conn has done an amazing amount of research....a compelling biography, a must-read for people interested in China, the publishing world, awe-inspiring women, the struggles of people of color, or, the day-to-day dramas of human life." The Los Angeles Times

    "At last! A fascinating biography of Pearl S. Buck, vividly written, vigorously researched....a gripping, stunning read." Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt

    "...A considerable achievement." Jonathan Spence, author of The Search for Modern China

    "...expertly written, not only as a biography but also as a political history." Library Journal

    "This brilliantly conceived biography steers a sympathetic yet intelligently balanced course, revealing in fascinating detail the gripping life story of a compelling woman." Publishers Weekly

    "This biography is the best available scholarly discussion of a remarkably popular author and Nobel laureate who has been neglected by most literary historians....Highly recommended as a valuable addition to all public and academic library collections." Choice

    "Peter Conn has written a very readable biography of one whose life reflects much of the complexity of her time." Catherine Kord, The American Review

    "Nevertheless, she certainly was a major figure of her time, and to follow her life in Conn's finely detailed narrative is to encounter a powerful and moving 20th century experience...All these facets of Buck's life are sensitively described by Conn, who never allows his admiration for his subject to blind him to her frailties and her mistakes in judgement." Lousville, KY Courier-Journal (the reviewer is Richard Bernstein, with The New York Times)

    "Meticulously researched, well-written, thorough and fair in its assessment of one of the most popular American writers of the century, this scholarly treatise is more than a biography, It is a cultural history of East-West relations." Reese Danley-Kilgo, Huntsville, AL Times

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521639897
    • length: 500 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 32 mm
    • weight: 0.745kg
    • contains: 43 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface: Rediscovering Pearl Buck
    1. Missionary childhood
    2. New worlds
    3. Winds of change
    4. The Good Earth
    5. An exile's return
    6. The prize
    7. Wartime
    8. Losing battles
    9. Pearl Sydenstricker.

  • Author

    Peter Conn, University of Pennsylvania


    • Winner of a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize for Literature

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