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Pearl Buck


            Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, 1892 - 1973. Pearl Buck was born in the hills of West Virginia to the parents of Chinese missionaries. She was born during a short stay in the United States but soon moved to China where she spent forty years of her life. While in China she was a devoted student to the ways and customs of the Chinese. She also had the great fortune to meet people of Japanese and British ancestors. This would enable Buck to have a more rounded education. Buck was married twice, once to a man named Lossing Buck whom she met in China, also of a missionary status, devoted to changing the agricultural methods of the Chinese farmers. Her second husband was her publisher, Richard Walsh. Buck raised four children, three were adopted and her own, stricken with PKU, lived in a New Jersey Home for the retarded. .
             Pearl Buck had been writing since the age of six. She first published a short story for the Christian Observer, a newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky and then again in publications such as the Shanghai Mercury. (10) Buck was a natural writer and spent her entire life dreaming of being a novelist. Her first attempt at writing a novel was at the death of her mother Caroline. Buck devotion to her mother solidified by her strained relationship with her Father. It was Caroline, her mother, who was responsible for teaching Buck spoken English and writing, as she had only been expose to Chinese during her early years. This enabled her to master both languages, both spoken and written and gave her a greater understanding of the writings of both cultures. .
             Buck was a victim of prejudice while living in China. This would also become a foundation block for her in the future. Buck drew on this experience to speak out against the Black prejudice. In a letter to the New York Times she wrote, "Young colored men and women today are giving up hope for justice or security in their own country".


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