Pearl S. Buck : a cultural biography


Pearl S. Buck : a cultural biography

Peter Conn

Cambridge University Press, 1996

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Includes bibliographical references and index



One of the most popular novelists of the twentieth century, winner of a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize for Literature and an active social and political campaigner, particularly in the field of women's issues and Asian-American relations, Pearl Buck has, until now, remained 'hidden in public view'. Best known, perhaps, as the prolific author of The Good Earth, Buck led a career which extended well beyond her eighty works of fiction and non-fiction and deep into the public sphere. In this critically acclaimed biography, Peter Conn retrieves Pearl Buck from the footnotes of literary and cultural history and reinstates her as a figure of compelling and uncommon significance in twentieth-century literary, cultural and political history.


  • 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.

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