Title:The Good Earth Author:Pearl S. Buck Trivia: This book was published in 1931. The book won the Pulitzer Prize and the William Dean Howells medal for fiction. Her tombstone, which she designed, does not record her name in English; instead the Chinese characters representing the name Pearl Sydenstricker are inscribed. Related Links: A Short Biography, Google on Pearl S. Buck
I didn't think there were any books that I hadn't read a dozen times over at home until I came across a stack of books my sis bought from a second hand bookstore. Pearl S. Buck wasn't a familiar name to me, so I ran some searches on the ever-resourceful Google to read up abit of her background.
Having being brought up in China by missionary parents and assimilating Chinese culture - having spent fourty years there - she is able to empathize with the Chinese peasants and their way of life. The two lasting impressions this book left me with is how she writes passionately of the rise of a Chinese peasant and his family into being rich landowners; as well as the role of women in China - how the protagonist Wang Lung managed his two wives and how they lived together, of bounded feet, of taboos, culture, class, dignity, filial piety, and just about everything else - I'd say that her description of peasant living in China is quite accurate and its a commendable piece of work - especially since its coming from a foreigner.
I find this book quite an interesting read indeed; it is a simple read, has vivid descriptions of the Chinese countryside, and quite enlightened me on how much the livelihood of peasants depend on the earth they toil, thus the title. If you're interested in loaning this book, you could drop by the Book Swap Meet on Jan 11th 2004.