Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Newly Discovered Pearl S. Buck Novel to be Published

A 40-year-old unpublished Pearl S. Buck manuscript was recently discovered in storage.  The people who found the book sent it back to the Buck family, and now the world will enjoy it. Open Road Integrated Media and InkWell Management will team up to publish the book.

Pearl S. Buck
The Eternal Wonder will be published on October 22, bringing the Pulitzer & Nobel Prize-winning author’s newly discovered work as a digital book and paperback. Open Road already publishes 28 backlist books by Buck, including The Big Wave and The Good Earth. Here’s more about the book, from the release:
The Eternal Wonder  is a personal and passionate fictional exploration of the themes that meant so much to Buck in her life. It tells the coming-of-age story of Randolph Colfax, an extraordinarily gifted young man whose search for meaning and purpose leads him to New York, England, Paris, a mission patrolling the demilitarized zone in Korea that will change his life forever—and, ultimately, to love.
Buck’s son Edgar S. Walsh, who is also in charge of her literary estate, said her family is baffled as to how the manuscript made its way to Texas.
“After my mother died in Vermont, her personal possessions were not carefully controlled,” he told the New York Times. “The family didn’t have access. Various things were stolen. Somebody in Vermont ran off with this thing, and it eventually ended up in Texas.”

 So who was this woman?  Alas, not much is known today about her, only her name in a rather oblique way.  Let me say a bit about her.  Pearl S. Buck  was born Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker on June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Her parents, both Presbyterian missionaries, decided to go back to the Chinese village of Chinkiang with 5-month-old Pearl in tow.  She lived there for 20 years before returning to the US permanently.  “The Good Earth” was published in 1931.

She was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, securing the award in 1938. In addition, her novel “The Good Earth” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1938.  She died in 1973. An amazing force in American Letters, Pearl S. Buck was a role model for so many people on so many levels.

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