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1892–1973, American author, born in Hillsboro, W.Va., graduated Randolph-Macon Women's College, 1914.
Pearl Buck was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature. Until 1924 she lived principally in China, where she, her parents, and her first husband, John Lossing Buck, were missionaries. She is famous for vivid, compassionate novels about life in China. The Good Earth (1931; Pulitzer Prize), considered her finest work, describes a Chinese peasant's rise to wealth and brilliantly conveys a sense of the daily life of ordinary Chinese people. Among her other novels of China are East Wind: West Wind (1930), Dragon Seed (1942), Imperial Woman (1956), and Mandala (1971). In 1935, she married her publisher Richard J. Walsh, president of the John Day Company. In 1949 she founded Welcome House, which provided care for the children of Asian women and American soldiers; the Pearl Buck Foundation of Philadelphia, to which she consigned most of her royalties, aids in the adoption of Amerasian children. Her more than 85 books include works for children, plays, biographies, and works of nonfiction, such as China As I See It (1970).
See her autobiography, My Several Worlds (1954); biography by T. F. Harris (2 vol., 1969–71).
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