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Pearl of China

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Pearl of China Cover

ISBN13: 9781596916975
ISBN10: 1596916974
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the bestselling author of Red Azalea and Empress Orchid comes the powerful story of the friendship of a lifetime, based on the life of Pearl S. Buck.

In the small southern town of Chin-kiang, in the last days of the nineteenth century, two young girls bump heads and become thick as thieves. Willow is the only child of a destitute family, Pearl the headstrong daughter of zealous Christian missionaries. She will ultimately become the internationally renowned author Pearl S. Buck, but for now she is just a girl embarrassed by her blonde hair and enchanted by her new Chinese friend. The two embark on a friendship that will sustain both of them through one of the most tumultuous periods in Chinese history.

Moving out into the world together, the two enter the intellectual fray of the times, share love interests and survive early marriages gone bad. Their shared upbringing inspires Pearl's novels, which celebrate the life of the Chinese peasant and will eventually earn her both a Pulitzer and a Nobel Prize. But when a civil war erupts between the Nationalists and Communists, Pearl is forced to flee the country just ahead of angry mobs. Willow, despite close ties to Mao's inner circle, is punished for loyalty to her cultural imperialist friend. And yet, through love and loss, heartbreak and joy, exile and imprisonment, the two women remain intimately entwined.

In this ambitious new novel, Anchee Min brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who is now hailed in China as a modern heroine. Like nothing before it, Pearl of China tells the story of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers, from the perspective of the people she loved and of the land she called home.

Review:

"Ardently detailed, dramatic, and encompassing, Min's fresh and penetrating interpretation of Pearl S. Buck's extraordinary life delivers profound psychological, spiritual, and historical insights." (Starred Review) Booklist

Review:

"[T]he book presents a welcome addition to Min's long list of strong female characters, and pays worthy homage to Pearl Buck's legacy." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Pearl of China is a loving tribute to Buck and a unique peek into the hearts and lives of the Chinese people who knew her." Oregonian

Synopsis:

In the small southern China town of Chin-kiang, in the last days of the nineteenth century, two young girls bump heads and become thick as thieves. Willow is the only child of a destitute family. Pearl is the headstrong daughter of Christian missionaries-and will grow up to become Pearl S. Buck, Nobel Prize-winning writer and activist. This unlikely pair becomes lifelong friends, confiding their beliefs and dreams, experiencing love and motherhood, and eventually facing civil war and exile. Pearl of China brings new color to the remarkable life of Pearl S. Buck, illuminated by the sweep of history and an intimate, unforgettable friendship.

Synopsis:

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.

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About the Author

Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labor collective, where a talent scout for Madame Mao's Shanghai Film Studio recruited her to work as a movie actress. She came to the United States in 1984 with the help of actress Joan Chen. Her memoir, Red Azalea, was named one of the New York Times Notable Books of 1994 and was an international bestseller, with rights sold in twenty countries. Her novels Becoming Madame Mao and Empress Orchid were published to critical acclaim and were national bestsellers. Her two other novels, Katherine and Wild Ginger, were published to wonderful reviews and impressive foreign sales.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

CLR, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by CLR)
Have always admired Pearl Buck and found this a wonderful "version" of her early life in China.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
gaby317, March 30, 2010 (view all comments by gaby317)
I was very excited at the chance to review Anchee Min's Pearl of China. I have an uncle who would carefully select books for me. When I was in fifth grade, he introduced me to Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth. The Good Earth was the first grown up book that I read; the story was so absorbing and sad that it stayed with me for a long time. It was The Good Earth that sparked my interest in China.

In Pearl of China, Anchee Min introduces Pearl S. Buck at a young age. We meet Pearl as a young girl as she befriends Willow, a young Chinese girl. Pearl Sydenstricker is the daughter of American missionaries stationed in Chin-kiang, a small town south of the Yangtze River. The villagers are not interested in converting but they're drawn to the Sydenstrickers because of the food, medicine and music that they offer.

Pearl and Willow's friendship gets off on a rocky start but they quickly become inseparable. Curious, active, and high spirited girls, Pearl and Willow get into all sorts of adventures. They lived under the Qing Dynasty and survived the Boxer Rebellion in relative innocence until the Sydenstrickers were forced to retreat to Shanghai. After this separation and by the time that they're 14, Pearl and Willow's lives take very different directions. Pearl is in a missionary middle school in Shanghai while Willow is engaged to a wealthy older man.

Though the friends live very different lives, they make a point of seeing each other and remain very close friends. This friendship continues even after Pearl moves to the United States for college. When Pearl and her husband return to China years later, Pearl confides the details of her life to Willow. Willow shares her own life's disappointments and the women continue to find strength in their friendship - even years later when Pearl is forced to leave China and their letters are censored.

Violence explodes in China and the country undergoes momentous changes from the Japanese occupation to Nationalist control to the eventual victory of Mao and the Communist Party. Like everyone around them, Pearl and Willow find their lives changed. Pearl moves to the United States and she is recognized worldwide for her writing with the Pulitzer and the Nobel Prize for Literature. Willow's husband becomes one of Mao's trusted advisers but as her friendship remains a source of strength it also becomes a political liability for Willow.

Pearl of China is as much a story of loyalty and friendship in historic times as it is the story of Pearl S. Buck as a woman of China and a dedicated and gifted writer. I found Pearl of China moving and inspiring - a glimpse into the life of one of the most interesting people of the 20th century.

ISBN-10: 1596916974 - Hardcover
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition (March 30, 2010), 288 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781596916975
Author:
Min, Anchee
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Subject:
Biographical fiction
Subject:
Friendship in children
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Biographical
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
General-General
Subject:
China
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.53 x 6.36 x 1.1 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Biographical

Pearl of China Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596916975 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Ardently detailed, dramatic, and encompassing, Min's fresh and penetrating interpretation of Pearl S. Buck's extraordinary life delivers profound psychological, spiritual, and historical insights." (Starred Review)
"Review" by , "[T]he book presents a welcome addition to Min's long list of strong female characters, and pays worthy homage to Pearl Buck's legacy."
"Review" by , "Pearl of China is a loving tribute to Buck and a unique peek into the hearts and lives of the Chinese people who knew her."
"Synopsis" by ,

In the small southern China town of Chin-kiang, in the last days of the nineteenth century, two young girls bump heads and become thick as thieves. Willow is the only child of a destitute family. Pearl is the headstrong daughter of Christian missionaries-and will grow up to become Pearl S. Buck, Nobel Prize-winning writer and activist. This unlikely pair becomes lifelong friends, confiding their beliefs and dreams, experiencing love and motherhood, and eventually facing civil war and exile. Pearl of China brings new color to the remarkable life of Pearl S. Buck, illuminated by the sweep of history and an intimate, unforgettable friendship.

"Synopsis" by ,
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.
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