A story about a farming family in rural China, "The Good Earth" is studded with the harrowing experiences the Wang family endures throughout their lives on a soil that seems to yield only hunger and neglect, compounded by an increasingly contemptuous society in the midst of a revolution. So why read it? The characters are infuriatingly human. The wife is a perpetual slave who takes her suffering as a matter of course, but even after things begin to look up she is unable to be anything more than a slave and dies of a broken heart when her husband brings home another companion. After all they went through together I half-expected and wholly desired for her to put her foot down, because she is perfectly capable of doing so, but her nurture compels her to tuck herself away and die quietly like a dog under the porch. The husband, Lung, is a good, hardworking man who only realizes her value after she is gone. Set in the 1900s, "The Good Earth" was written after Buck's experiences in China, published in 1931, and won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1938.
Nobel Laureate Pearl S. Buck's epic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Oprah Book Club selection about a vanished China and one family's shifting fortunes. Though more than seventy years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics. In The Good Earth Pearl S. Buck paints an indelible portrait of China in the 1920s, when the last emperor reigned and the vast political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumblings. This moving, classic story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-Lan is must reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during the last century. Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions and rewards. Her brilliant novel--beloved by millions of readers--is a universal tale of an ordinary family caught in the tide of history.