Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Literary Lady of Long Ago

pearl buck

Writers gain great popularity and then often interest in their work wanes. Perhaps with the author's death or just a new trend in the kind of story readers want in one era or another. Favorite authors of long ago slip away from us, staying buried in our memory banks until something triggers the treasures stored in our minds.

It happened to me yesterday when I saw a facebook post by The Literary Ladies' Guide to the Writing Life about Pearl S. Buck. The years fell away as I remembered discovering this wonderful author in my high school years. I clicked on the link that led to her page. The picture above is one they used on the webpage and had been used during her writing years for publicity purposes.

An American by birth, Ms Buck lived in China a good deal of her life. Her missionary parents took her there as a small child, so she grew up in a culture totally unlike the America of that period. She was born in 1892, a time when people did not jet around the world as they do today.

Her novels allowed Westerners to learn about another culture and she was able to make a statement about her beliefs on society, race relations, gender and even International relations. She was known to be a person of wisdom and strong opinions. Her best known book, The Good Earth, was made into a Hollywood film that was a hit. Read the 1937 New York Times review here.

Ms. Buck was a prolific writer. I looked up a full list of her books and books that included parts of her works. An amazing number for one person. Check it out.

The Good Earth, Peony, A House Divided--these are a few of the titles I remember from my teen and early twenties years when I read everything I could find that had been written by Pearl Buck. In my thirties, I read a biography of her life, and I believe that is the last connection I had with this fine, fine author. I would like to read some of those novels of hers again. I'm sure my perspective as a senior will differ from the teen-ager who was so fascinated by the historical fiction about China. I learned a great deal and was held captive by her excellent writing.

I know that I must go to my library and check the stacks with the letter B. I will check out one, or more, of this author's books and read them again.

Who is one of your favorite authors from way back? Have you read those books again on this side of your life? Do you have a list of favorite authors of another era? Share with our readers.


  1. I read every Agatha Christie book I could find. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was another
    favorite. Loved mysteries back then.

    1. Thanks BJ. I think if we've read an author, loved them and read them again, we'll fall in love all over again!