Pearl Buck (1892-1973) was born in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Since her parents were missionaries, they were sent to Zhenjiang, China in 1892 when Pearl was 3 months old. She was raised in China and was tutored by a Confucian. She was taught English as a second language by her mother and tutor. She returned to the Gender Equality in the United States of America of America for her education, completing secondary school and undergraduate studies at All-Women Colleges .
She then returned to China and married an agricultural economist missionary, John Lossing Buck, in 1917. She lived with him in Suzhou, Anhui Province. She served in China as a Presbyterian missionary from 1914 until 1933. Her views later became highly controversial in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy, leading to her resignation as a missionary.
In 1920, she and John had a daughter, Carol. Soon after, the family then moved to Nanjing, where Pearl taught English literature at the University of Nanking. In 1925, the Bucks adopted Janice (later surnamed Walsh). In 1926, she left China and returned to the United States for a short time in order to earn her Masters degree from Cornell University. In 1935 Pearl got a divorce. Richard Walsh, president of the John Day Company and her publisher, became her second husband. The couple lived in Pennsylvania.
Pearl Buck began to write in the twenties; her first novel, East Wind, West Wind, appeared in 1930. It was followed by The Good Earth (1931), Sons (1932), and A House Divided (1935), together forming a trilogy on the saga of the family of Wang. The Good Earth stood on the American list of «best sellers» for a long time and earned her several awards, among them the Pulitzer Prize and the William Dean Howells Medal. She also published The First Wife and Other Stories (1933), All Men are Brothers (a translation of the Chinese novel Shui Hu Chuan) (1933), The Mother (1934), and This Proud Heart (1938). The biographies of her mother and father, The Exile and Fighting Angel, were published in 1936 and later brought out together under the title of The Spirit and the Flesh (1944). The Time Is Now, a fictionalized account of the author’s emotional experiences, although written much earlier, did not appear in print until 1967.
Pearl Buck’s works after 1938 continued to deal with the confrontation of East and West, her interest spreading to include India and Korea. Her novelist’s interest in the interplay of East and West has also led to some activity in political journalism.
In 1949, Buck established Welcome House, Inc, the first international, interracial adoption agency. She was outraged that adoption services considered Asian and mixed-race children unadoptable. In 1964, to provide support for Asian-American children who were not eligible for adoption, Buck also established the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, which provides sponsorship funding for thousands of children in Asian countries. When establishing the Opportunity House Foundation to support child sponsorship programs in Asia, Buck said, “The purpose…is to publicize and eliminate injustices and prejudices suffered by children, who, because of their birth, are not permitted to enjoy the educational, social, economic and civil privileges normally accorded to children.”
Pearl S. Buck died of lung cancer on March 6, 1973 in Danby, Vermont and was interred in Green Hills Farm in Perkasie. She designed her own tombstone, which does not record her name in English; instead, the grave marker is inscribed with Chinese characters representing the name Pearl Sydenstricker.