Buck’s The Good Earth

“At first, opening his eyes in the blackness of the curtains about his bed, he could not think why the dawn seemed different from any other. “

It is a special morning since Wang Lung is going to meet his new wife. Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth chronicles the joys and tragedies of a peasant farmer in China where Buck grew up (her father was a missionary). The Good Earth was Buck’s second novel and for it she received the Pulitzer Prize and was later awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature. It is both a family saga and a historical novel, giving a view of China when the last emperor reigned. Buck manages to cover class differences, the symbolism of land, the fate of being born plain or beautiful, betrayal, hope and despair. She’s an American woman writing as a Chinese man and does all convincingly. It’s a rich novel from Buck’s unique perspective.

I think I’ve read this book at least twice — it’s a classic worth re-reading.

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