Buck Pearl 1892 - 1973 (81)

To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.


East wind

West wind

Pearl Buck (1892-1975) was an American writer and political activist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1938. Her parents were missionaries in China and returned to Virginia to give birth to Pearl on June 26, 1892. They took her back with them to China, where she grew up learning English from her mother and Chinese from a home teacher. From 1911 to 1914 she studied at a girls' college in Virginia and immediately returned to China to work as a Presbyterian missionary, a position she would later resign as she came into conflict with the mission's fundamentalists. She married John Buck in 1917, an American economist specializing in agricultural economics, and in the following years they both worked as university professors. In 1920, she gave birth to a daughter who was suffering from a metabolic disease that caused her mental retardation. She wrote a book about her. In 1921 her mother died and in 1924 she went to the USA where she did a postgraduate course at Cornell University. In 1925, they adopted a baby girl and returned to China. In 1927 the situation in China was deplorable and in battles between nationalists and communists many Westerners were killed. The Bucks escaped at the last minute as a family of poor Chinese hid them, but their house was looted. They remained in Asia for a few more years, eventually leaving for good in 1934. That year, she divorced and married her publisher, with whom she spent the rest of their years in Pennsylvania.

Pearl in her dozens of books described her life experiences as well as her political views. He wrote about life in China comparing it to life in the West, managing to keep an excellent balance, highlighting the fact that each culture can learn from the other and no one is better or worse. She also wrote anti-racism, anti-discrimination, anti-war, biographies of her father and mother, missionary work. At that time, no one was adopting an orphan of Asian descent, so she founded the first international interracial adoption agency, and also denounced the American practice of having babies in Asia and abandoned them to the most difficult fate, as Asians did not consider them their own and their mothers were stigmatized. During the Cultural Revolution in China, Buck was declared undesirable as a cultural imperialist and barred from entering the country, which cost her a lot, as China was the country where she grew up. She died on March 6, 1973, from lung cancer.