Pearl of China
Pearl of China
By Anchee Min
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Paperback, 9781608193127, 289pp.
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
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.
"[Anchee] Min, a prime example of an indomitable Chinese woman, has made it her mission to reveal the truth about the lives of women in China, including Madame Mao, Empress Tzu Hsi, and now Buck … 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 within an unforgettable cross-cultural story of a quest for veracity, compassion, and justice."—Booklist, (starred review)"In those moments, when human emotions transcend cultural and geographical borders, Min echoes Buck’s talent for showing compassion and empathy toward her characters, and like her, reveals the power and dignity contained in the lives of ordinary people." —Associated Press "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. As with all of her books, Min -- like Buck before her -- exposes the cruel, isolating existence that China's rulers inflicted on much of the country's population during the different decades that the two women lived there. And both women showed the inspiring, courageous ways in which even the most besieged of the lowest classes maintained their wit and humanity."—Oregonian "Pearl of China is worthy of reading simply because of the author's ambition of showing how literature can affect history as well as the psyche."—Asian Review of Books "A gifted and lyrical writer."—Los Angeles Times "Min's narrative is most fascinating as we watch her characters negotiate the conundrum that is Mao's China."—City Pages "A captivating read…Pearl of China is the story of two women's lives, but larger still, it is a history filled with insights into the common people of China lives. Although it is a work of fiction, it is wonderfully, historically accurate…I recommend Pearl of China as a great read for all."—Des Moines Register "Min’s writing is poetic and immediate …infused with sensuous details and exacting dialogues."—Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books "In this excellent interpretation of Pearl’s story from a Chinese perspective told with a haunting quality only Anchee Min can deliver, the bestselling author of Red Azalea and Empress Orchid again focuses her attention on influential women of her native China … this rewarding read passes far too quickly."—Bookreporter.com "Min skillfully blends real historical figures … with fictional characters to authenticate the story’s social and political context … [Pearl of China] 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 "There is something absolutely delicious about stories where real people and places are mixed with fictional characters. That’s the case in Anchee Min’s novel Pearl of China…a lovely and engaging read."—Costco Connection