WV: Pearl S Buck wins Nobel Prize for Literature

On December 10, 1938, West Virginia native Pearl S. Buck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for her book The Good Earth.

Per Wikipedia:

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973; also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu; Chinese: 赛珍珠) was an American writer and novelist. As the daughter of missionaries, Buck spent most of her life before 1934 in Zhenjiang, China. Her novel The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the United States in 1931 and 1932 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”. She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

After returning to the United States in 1935, she continued writing prolifically, became a prominent advocate of the rights of women and minority groups, and wrote widely on Chinese and Asian cultures, becoming particularly well known for her efforts on behalf of Asian and mixed-race adoption.

The Stulting House at the Pearl Buck Birthplace in Hillsboro, West Virginia

Originally named Comfort by her parents, Pearl Sydenstricker was born in Hillsboro, West Virginia, United States, to Caroline Maude (Stulting) (1857–1921) and Absalom Sydenstricker.

Her parents, Southern Presbyterian missionaries, traveled to China soon after their marriage on July 8, 1880, but returned to the United States for Pearl’s birth. When Pearl was five months old, the family arrived in China, first in Huai’an and then in 1896 moved to Zhenjiang (then often known as Jingjiang or, in the Chinese postal romanization system, Tsingkiang), near Nanking.

By Arnold Genthe – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division under the digital ID cph.3a12720.

Clippings From Pearl S Buck’s Nobel Prize Acceptance:

Charleston Gazette
December 11, 1938


Mrs. Buck Given Literature Award

Swedish King Personally Presents Nobel Prize To Writer

Stockholm, Dec. 10 – (AP) – In a brilliant ceremony in the flower-decked great hall of the Stockholm concert house, Mrs. Pearl Buck, American writer, tonight formally received from King Gustaf of Sweden the 1938 Nozel [sic] prize for literature.

Nine members of the Swedish royal family, the entire diplomatic corps and outstanding representatives of Sweden’s cultural and scientific bodies looked on as the 80-year old monarch handed Mrs. Buck a parchment certificate bound in tooled leather, the Nobel medal and a check for an amount equal in American money to about $37,975.

An Italian professor, Enrico Fermi, winner of the Nobel prize for physics, was the only other prize-winner attending the presentation.

Earlier in the day in Oslo, Judge Michael Hansson of the Nansen international office for refugees, an arm of the League of Nations, accepted the Nobel peace prize on behalf of the Nansen office.

On December 10, 1938, West Virginia native Pearl S. Buck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for her book The Good Earth.

This articles was found on the WV Archives Page: HERE

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The Times Recorder
Zanesville, Ohio
24 Dec 1938, Sat  •  Page 1
Related image
A clearer clip of the photo.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis, Missouri
11 Dec 1938, Sun  •  Page 75
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St. Louis Globe-Democrat
St. Louis, Missouri
12 Dec 1938, Mon  •  Page 10
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Daily News
New York, New York
11 Dec 1938, Sun  •  Page 339
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The Morning Call
Allentown, Pennsylvania
11 Dec 1938, Sun  •  Page 1
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The Indianapolis Star
Indianapolis, Indiana
11 Dec 1938, Sun  •  Page 42
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Sunday News
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
11 Dec 1938, Sun  •  Page 1
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Sunday News
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
11 Dec 1938, Sun  •  Page 8
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The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn, New York
23 Dec 1938, Fri  •  Page 2

Additional Clippings On Pearl S Buck:

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Brownwood Bulletin
Brownwood, Texas
15 Mar 1973, Thu  •  Page 11
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The Times Herald
Port Huron, Michigan
16 Mar 1973, Fri  •  Page 8
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Bennington Banner
Bennington, Vermont
07 Sep 1961, Thu  •  Page 7
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Star Tribune
Minneapolis, Minnesota
29 Dec 1988, Thu  •  Page 11
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Chicago Tribune
Chicago, Illinois
22 Apr 1951, Sun  •  Page 187
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The Morning Call
Allentown, Pennsylvania
07 Oct 1994, Fri  •  Page 18
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The Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
27 Dec 1988, Tue  •  Page 11
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Tampa Bay Times
St. Petersburg, Florida
17 Jan 1943, Sun  •  Page 36
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News Herald
Perkasie, Pennsylvania
18 Sep 1996, Wed  •  Page 28
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The Morning Call
Allentown, Pennsylvania
19 Mar 2006, Sun  •  Page 50
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The Morning Call
Allentown, Pennsylvania
10 May 1982, Mon  •  Page 19

2 comments

    1. I have read several of her books. I know there are some who did not like her then because of her support of the people of China. It’s not the “only” one acknowledged. It is her most popular though.

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