Pearl of China

Pearl of China

A Novel

Book - 2010
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It is the end of the nineteenth century and China is riding on the crest of great change, but for nine-year-old Willow, the only child of a destitute family in the small southern town of Chin-kiang, nothing ever seems to change. Until the day she meets Pearl, the eldest daughter of a zealous American missionary.

Pearl is head-strong, independent and fiercely intelligent, and will grow up to be Pearl S Buck, the Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning writer and humanitarian activist, but for now all Willow knows is that she has never met anyone like her in all her life. From the start the two are thick as thieves, but when the Boxer Rebellion rocks the nation, Pearl's family is forced to leave China to flee religious persecution. As the twentieth century unfolds in all its turmoil, through right-wing military coups and Mao's Red Revolution, through bad marriages and broken dreams, the two girls cling to their lifelong friendship across the sea.

In this ambitious and moving new novel, Anchee Min, acclaimed author of Empress Orchid and Red Azalea , brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who loved the country of her childhood and who has been hailed in China as a modern heroine.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury USA, 2010
Edition: 1st U.S. ed. --
ISBN: 9781596916975
Branch Call Number: FIC Min 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 278 p


From the critics

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Aug 01, 2016

Fanciful and pointless book that conjures up a Chinese foil for Pearl Buck.

The writing is at once simplistic and pretentious. Short little sentences that go nowhere, dotted with clumsy translations of Chinese poems and plays. A ridiculous and implausible romp through 20th-century Chinese history.

Pearl Buck led an incredibly interesting life; her counter-revolutionary status has been forgotten and forgiven. Why, then, cast her life in a chick-lit melodrama?

As Julia Lovell of The Guardian put it, "If you're looking for insight into Buck's extraordinary life, you should probably read Hilary Spurling's new biography."

PoMoLibrary Jul 30, 2015

From our 2015 #80DayRead Summer Reading Club traveler Mallee: Chinese Willow and US Born Pearl become fast friends until the Boxer Revolution forces Pearl to leave China.

Jane60201 Mar 17, 2014

The book was ok but not of the compelling quality of "Becoming Madam Mao."

Jan 21, 2014

A fascinating story based on the early life of Pearl Buck in China, with possibly fictional characters to help tell the tale. "The Good Earth" was a shocking discovery in my teenage years, of life in China, so this was doubly fascinating. Now to read more by this American Chinese authoress.

Jul 01, 2011

Good ar must read for Gary

Jun 28, 2011

excellent book, made me laugh and cry

PhylBee Mar 09, 2011

I enjoyed reading this story about Pearl S. Buck's youth and life prior to becoming a noted author and Nobel Prize winner. I found it a bit slow getting started but it became quite enticing as the story moved along.

Nov 03, 2010

Excellent book, I would defininetly read again. Terrific author Pearl Buck,look foward to reading more of her books,
All about chinas past history

May 21, 2010

Absolutely this book about Pearl Buck.


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Mar 27, 2011

Fictionalized account of Pearl S. Buck as child friend of completely fictional Chinese girl. Chinese girl is narrator and it goes through her whole life. Pearl S. Buck and family had to leave China in late 30's due to civil war and murderous intent toward all foreigners.

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