Thanks to Sharon for hosting the wonderful Italian Feast at her home last night as we discussed "The Portrait of a Lady" by Henry James! The gnocchi were fantastic! (I'm still dreaming about them. I wish I had a bowlful right now!!)
After some deliberation and discussion I've picked a book that I'm guessing most of you have not read - "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck, a novel about China around 1900. We have read a lot of western novels focused in the 16th-20th centuries and are not well-acquainted with eastern cultures. Even though this book is written by an American woman we will learn what China was like before the revolution. Here is some information about the novel:
This 1932 Pulitzer Prize winning novel is still a standout today. Deceptive in its simplicity, it is a story built around a flawed human being and a teetering socio-economic system, as well as one that is layered with profound themes. The cadence of the author's writing is also of note, as it rhythmically lends itself to the telling of the story, giving it a very distinct voice. No doubt the author's writing style was influenced by her own immersion in Chinese culture, as she grew up and lived in China, the daughter of missionaries.
This is a potent story, brimming with irony, yet simply told against a framework of mounting social change. It is a story that stands as a parable in many ways and is one that certainly should be read. It illustrates the timeless dichotomy between the young and the old, the old and the new, and the rich and the poor. It is no wonder that this beautifully written book won a Pulitzer Prize and is considered a classic masterpiece. Bravo!
And a little more information about the author: