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Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker was born in 1892 in West Virginia. Her parents were Southern Presbyterian missionaries, most often stationed in China, and from childhood, Pearl spoke both English and Chinese. She returned to China in 1914, and married John Lossing Buck. They immediately moved to Nanhsuchou in rural Anhwei province. In 1931, John Day published Pearl's second novel, The Good Earth. This was the bestselling book of both 1931 and 1932, and won the Pulitzer Prize. In 1938 Pearl won the Nobel Prize in literature, the first American woman to do so. By the time of her death in 1973, Pearl had published more than seventy books: novels, collections of stories, biography and autobiography, poetry, drama, children's literature, and translations from the Chinese.
First published in 1931, this classic novel about Chinese peasant life around the turn of the 20th century seems a little dated now but still possesses enough emotional power to engage modern listeners. The book traces the slow rise of Wang Lung from humble peasant farmer to great landlord-a feat he achieves by steadily adding to his lands and making enormous sacrifices to retain them through hard times. As one of the first Western novels to explore the lives of ordinary Chinese, this work has had an enormous influence on American views of China, and it propelled Buck to the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938. The novel's linear story line makes it ideal for listening, and actor Anthony Heald's perfectly modulated narration makes this audio edition a sure winner among library patrons. Highly recommended.-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.