2010 1st edition; Simon & Schuster publishers, New York; hardbound in forest green and black boards with nice gilt lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket quite good.
One of the twentieth century's most extraordinary Americans, Pearl Buck was the first person to make China accessible to the West. She recreated the lives of ordinary Chinese people in "The Good Earth, " an overnight worldwide bestseller in 1932, later a blockbuster movie. Buck went on to become the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Long before anyone else, she foresaw China's future as a superpower, and she recognized the crucial importance for both countries of China's building a relationship with the United States.
As a teenager she had witnessed the first stirrings of Chinese revolution, and as a young woman she narrowly escaped being killed in the deadly struggle between Chinese Nationalists and the newly formed Communist Party. Pearl grew up in an imperial China unchanged for thousands of years. She was the child of American missionaries, but she spoke Chinese before she learned English, and her friends were the children of Chinese farmers.
She took it for granted that she was Chinese herself until she was eight years old, when the terrorist uprising known as the Boxer Rebellion forced her family to flee for their lives. It was the first of many desperate flights. Flood, famine, drought, bandits, and war formed the background of Pearl's life in China. "Asia was the real, the actual world, " she said, "and my own country became the dreamworld." Pearl wrote about the realities of the only world she knew in "The Good Earth. "It was one of the last things she did before being finally forced out of China to settle for the first time in the United States.