- Buck, Pearl Sydenstricker
- (1892-1973)Best-selling author Pearl S. Buck was born in West Virginia, but her missionary parents moved to China in 1892. Buck returned to the United States in 1910 to attend Randolph-Macon Women’s College in Virginia, where she graduated in 1914. She returned to China and taught at Nanking University but came back to the United States to study at Cornell University, where she got her M.A. in 1926. She and her husband finally left China in 1934. Although some of Buck’s novels dealt with pioneer life in the United States, China provided the inspiration for most of her writing, and her first book was East Wind: West Wind (1930). Her second, The Good Earth (1931), won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and the William Dean Howells Medal in 1935. In 1938, she became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. During World War II, Buck often spoke in defense of China against Japan’s aggression. She wrote almost 100 books, the last, The Three Daughters of Madame Liang, appearing in 1969. Buck was also active in civil rights and humanitarian concerns and in 1949 established the Welcome House Inc., an interracial adoption agency. In 1960, she also set up the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, and although this was later involved in some controversy regarding its management, it too helped orphaned Amerasian children.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.