A writer who made a difference, Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (1892-1973) was born in Hillsboro, West Virginia on this day. At age three, she moved to China with her missionary parents, beginning a lifelong passion with the Asian country and culture.
"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word-- excellence," she observed. "To know how to do something well is to enjoy it."
One of the most popular writers of her time, Buck wrote over 80 fiction and nonfiction works. Her groundbreaking novel The Good Earth (1931) was a tribute to life in China.
"Nothing and no one can destroy the Chinese people," she praised. "They are relentless survivors. They yield, they bend to the wind, but they never break."
Buck received the 1938 Nobel Prize "for rich and genuine epic portrayals of Chinese life and for masterpieces of biography." Historian James Thomson called her "the most influential Westerner to write about China since thirteenth-century Marco Polo."
"I am comforted by life's stability," Buck once admitted, "by earth's unchangeableness."
Committed to the American civil rights and women's rights' movements, she founded the first international adoption agency, The Pearl S. Buck Foundation, which has helped over 20,000 Amerasians and their families with medical, educational, financial, and nutritional support.
Open and Reach..