Saturday, August 27, 2011

Next Book Pick!

Hi Everyone!
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:

When her second novel, The Good Earth, was published in 1931, Pearl Buck became famous throughout the world for her moving story of the joys and tragedies of the Chinese peasant farmer Wang Lung and his family. The novel was a best seller in the United States, and it was soon translated into more than thirty foreign languages; it has appeared in Chinese alone in at least seven different translations. The Good Earth was made into a Broadway play and a motion picture. For this book, Pearl Buck received the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and the William Dean Howells Medal for Distinguished Fiction in 1935. Her international reputation was established when she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938, primarily in recognition of her masterpiece novel, The Good Earth, and two biographies of her parents, The Exile and Fighting Angel, both published in 1936.

As far as obtaining a copy of the book I checked the Library website and there is one hardcopy available and no digital copies. I can't find a kindle edition to download, but maybe I missed it. Amazon has used copies available for 1cent. You will pay more for shipping. They have audio books available also, but those were a lot more.

Hope this inspires you to get a copy and start reading!

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