Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973

Alternative names
Birth 1892-06-26
Death 1973-03-06
English, Japanese

Biographical notes:

Pearl S. Buck was the daughter of American missionary parents, and spent the first seventeen years of her life in China. Her third novel, The Good Earth, won the Pulitzer Prize, and a Nobel Prize for literature followed, citing The Good Earth as well as her biographies of her parents. Critical reception for her works has been mixed since these early successes. A prolific and optimistic author, most of her fiction is set in China, and she displays great affection for the place and her characters.

From the description of Pearl S. Buck letters and papers, 1941-1969. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 52863622

Pearl S. Buck, the daughter of American Presbyterian missionaries in China, was raised in China and graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Va., in 1914. She married John Lossing Buck, an agricultural economist, in 1917 and they lived on the campus of Nanking University from 1920 to 1933, where both had teaching positions. Pearl Buck published The Good Earth, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, in 1931. She received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1938.

From the description of Pearl S. Buck letters, 1968. (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 78785394

American novelist, Nobel Prize winner.

From the description of TMsS, 1954 May 13. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 17153728

Audrey Cohen, founder and president of Audrey Cohen College in New York City, was an internationally recognized educator who stood at the vanguard of education and social policy for almost forty years. Impelled by a vision of a better world, she developed a system of education based on the principle that people learn best when they use their learning to achieve purposes that improve the world. While living in New York City during the early 1960s, Cohen focused on developing training programs to meet the requirements of the emerging service economy. In 1964, she founded the Women's Talent Corps, an organization that designed new jobs for the service economy (including the first paralegal and educational assistant positions) and combined study with on-the-job training. Building upon that organization's dramatic success in assisting low-income women, Cohen and her colleagues then developed an entirely new approach to education [from Jewish Women's Archive web page, 5/13/2011].

From the description of Typed letter signed from Pearl S. Buck to Mrs. Mark I. Cohen, 1965 Nov. 29. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754866120

American author. Winner of Pultizer and Nobel prizes.

From the description of Foreword to Kiku Yamata's book "Lady of Beauty", 1950. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 53179132

Pearl S. Buck was born Pearl Sydenstricker on June 26, 1892 in Hillsboro, West Virginia. She was raised in Chenchiang in eastern China by her Presbyterian missionary parents. After attending boarding school in Shanghai, Sydenstricker entered Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, graduated in 1914 and remained for a semester as an instructor in psychology. In 1917 Sydenstricker married missionary John L. Buck. Although later divorced and remarried, she retained the name Buck professionally. She returned to China and taught English literature in Chinese universities, where she took her master's degree in 1926. She began contributing articles on Chinese life to American magazines in 1922. Buck won a Pulitzer Prize for The Good Earth (1931), a best-seller about a Chinese peasant and his slave-wife. In 1938, Buck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. She died March 6, 1973 in Danby, Vermont.

From the description of Pearl S. Buck letter, 1943 March 22. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 420201351

American author and Pultizer and Nobel prize winner.

From the description of Letter to Jane Seymour Blomfield, 1951January 8. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 53180078

American author.

From the description of Vignette of love : [n.p.] : typescript of the short story with autograph revisions, unsigned, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270539907

Pearl S. Buck was born June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia, to Absalom and Caroline Sydenstricker, two Presbyterian missionaries on leave of absence from missionary work in China. The family returned to China when their daughter was three months old and settled in Chanchiang, where Buck would remain until the age of 17. As a child, Buck gained knowledge of the Chinese language as well as traditional folk tales from her Chinese nurse. This bicultural, bilingual upbringing would later influence her writing.

In 1910, Buck returned to the United States to attend college at Randolph Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia. While attending college, she wrote for her school's newspaper and also began to independently write and publish short stories. After graduation, Buck took on a job as a teacher's assistant at her alma mater, but soon returned to China to care for her mother who had fallen ill.

While in China, Buck married John Lossing Buck, an agricultural economist who was in China to teach American farming methods. In 1920, Buck gave birth to a daughter, Carol, who suffered from a disease that affected her mental development. The couple returned to the United States to seek treatment for Carol and for both to attend graduate school at Cornell University. Prompted by the need to improve her financial situation to help care for her daughter, Buck determined to write professionally.

Buck's first novel, East Wind: West Wind, was published in 1930 and followed by The Good Earth in 1931. In 1938, Buck became the third American and the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Specifically mentioned by judges were the biographies of her mother ( The Exile ) and her father ( Fighting Angel ). Later works include The Townsman, which was published under the pseudonym John Sedges because Buck felt that her own name had become too closely associated with Chinese subjects.

Buck died on March 6, 1973.

From the guide to the Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker) Buck Collection, 1930-1945, (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center)

American author and humanitarian who often wrote about life in China.

She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938 and a Pulitzer Prize in 1932.

From the description of Pearl S.Buck manuscripts, 1930-1964. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 472459815

Biography / Administrative History

Pearl Buck (1892-1973) was reared in China by her missionary parents and later taught in a Chinese university. Her first book to reach a wide audience was The Good Earth (1931, Pulitzer Prize), describing the struggles of a Chinese peasant and his slave wife. Sons (1932) and A House Divided (1935) followed; the trilogy was published as The House of Earth (1935). Among her later works are short stories, novels (including five under the pseudonym John Sedges), and an autobiography. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938.

Excerpted from Britannica Encyclopedia Online, http://search.eb.com/ebc/article-9358201, September 11, 2007

From the guide to the Pearl Buck collection, 1923-2000, 1923-1968, (Claremont Colleges. Library. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library.)

Pearl S. Buck [1892 - 1973] was an award-winning American writer whose novel, the The Good Earth was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. She became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938. Buck, who spent most of the first forty years of her life in China where her parents worked as missionaries, was fluent in both English and Chinese. In 1917, Buck married agricultural economist named John Lossing Buck, and moved to Nanhsuchou (Nanxuzhou) in rural Anhwei (Anhui) province. It was there that Buck gathered the material that she would later use in The Good Earth and other stories of China. Both Buck and her husband held teaching positions at Nanking University between 1920 and 1933, leaving for Japan during the violence of 1927 between Nationalist troops and Communist forces in what became known as the "Nanking Incident." Buck later divorced and remarried Richard Walsh, publisher of John Day Company, which had published her East Wind, West Wind (1930). By the time of her death in 1973, Buck had published over seventy books, including novels, poetry, drama, and translations from the Chinese.

Fredric Lo [Lo Kung Yuan, 1920 - ] is author of Nowhere is my Home, an autobiography telling of his survival during the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945. Lo selected [with Ralph Knight] Chinese poems of the Dang and Song dynasties, read by Lo in a sound recording made in 1963.

From the guide to the Pearl S. Buck Letter to Fredric Lo (MS 290), 15 January 1965, (University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries. Special Collections Dept.)

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Pearl S. Buck is an American-born author and humanitarian best known for her fictional works containing nuanced descriptions of Chinese characters and lifestyles. Buck was a prolific writer credited with authoring more than 100 books of fiction and nonfiction. She was also known by her Chinese name, Sai Zhenzhu, and she published some works under the pseudonym John Sedges.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Born Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker in Hillsboro, West Virginia on June 26, 1892, Buck was the child of Presbyterian missionary parents who were primarily stationed in China. She was educated in Chinese villages until the age of 14 when she was sent to boarding school in Shanghai. She returned to the United States to study at Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia where she earned a bachelor's degree in 1914. She received a MA in English from Cornell University in 1926 as well as an honorary MA from Yale University later in life.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED With the exception of the one year Buck spent at Cornell University, Buck lived, wrote and taught in China, primarily in Nanking, from 1918 to 1934 when she left China permanently for the United States. She attained international fame upon the publication of her second novel The Good Earth in 1931. The Good Earth won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1932. Buck's impressive body of work earned her the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938. According to the Nobel Prize Committee for Literature, Buck earned the prize "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces." She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and continues to be the sole female recipient of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize to date.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Buck was also an influential humanitarian who campaigned on behalf of a wide variety of causes particularly those relating to international and interracial adoption. In 1949, Buck founded Welcome House, the first international, interracial, adoption agency in the United States. In 1964-65, Buck established Opportunity House, an organization designed to address the issues of poverty and discrimination faced by children in Asian countries. Buck died on March 6, 1973.

From the guide to the Pearl S.Buck Collection, 1932-1956., (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library)


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