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East Wind: West Wind (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck) Paperback – April 5, 1995

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Product Details

  • Series: Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck (Book 8)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries; 1 edition (April 5, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559210869
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559210867
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

In her acceptance speech upon receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature, Pearl Buck said "The mind of my own country and of China, my foster country, are alike in many ways, but, above all, in our common love of freedom." East Wind: West Wind embodies this love of, and struggle for freedom.

About the Author

Pearl S. Buck was born in West Virginia and taken to China as an infant before the turn of the century. Buck grew up speaking Chinese as well as English. She is the most widely translated American author to this day. She has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. She died in 1973.

More About the Author

Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker was born on June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Her parents were Southern Presbyterian missionaries, most often stationed in China, and from childhood, Pearl spoke both English and Chinese. She returned to China shortly after graduation from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1914, and the following year, she met a young agricultural economist named John Lossing Buck. They married in 1917, and immediately moved to Nanhsuchou in rural Anhwei province. In this impoverished community, Pearl Buck gathered the material that she would later use in The Good Earth and other stories of China.
Pearl began to publish stories and essays in the 1920s, in magazines such as The Nation, The Chinese Recorder, Asia, and The Atlantic Monthly. Her first novel, East Wind, West Wind, was published by the John Day Company in 1930. John Day's publisher, Richard Walsh, would eventually become Pearl's second husband, in 1935, after both received divorces.

In 1931, John Day published Pearl's second novel, The Good Earth. This became the bestselling book of both 1931 and 1932, won the Pulitzer Prize and the Howells Medal in 1935, and would be adapted as a major MGM film in 1937. Other novels and books of nonfiction quickly followed. In 1938, less than a decade after her first book had appeared, Pearl won the Nobel Prize in literature, the first American woman to do so. By the time of her death in 1973, Pearl had published more than seventy books: novels, collections of stories, biography and autobiography, poetry, drama, children's literature, and translations from the Chinese. She is buried at Green Hills Farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Customer Reviews

I love learning about the Chinese culture.
I love Pearl S Buck and everything that she has ever written.
Julie L. Anderson
She was a master of her craft, writing stories.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By "heather@yumemori.net" on October 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Pearl S. Buck's "East Wind: West Wind" tells the life story of a traditional Chinese woman through her inner thoughts and feelings in an interesting manner. The woman, who was betrothed to a Chinese man before birth, later finds herself married the man, who has studied in America to become a doctor. Throughout the book, the woman represents stiff Chinese traditions while the man represents more modern and western beliefs. Relying on her traditional upbringing, the women attempts to please her husband by being his servant. However, he tries to change her view of what marriage should be: an equal partnership and not a servant and master relationship. Throughout the book, the couple strives to overcome various trials and ordeals that deal with changing traditions. In my opinion, "East Wind: West Wind" attempts to tackle the implicit battle between old, established traditions and more modern ideas; it also shows the conflicts between Eastern ideology and Western ideology. Overall, the book is a wonderful insight into the ancient cultural practices of China and how well they do or do not mingle with modern culture. "East Wind: West Wind" is a delightful and easy book to read, and it can be considered on of Pearl S. Buck's best works.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Eric Lu on September 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
East Wind: West Wind Why is there a colon in between? The story is presented like a monologue. The wife in the story, who is a traditional Chinese woman, speaks out her innermost feelings. She is betrothed before her birth to a Chinese man who has gone abroad to study. The woman, representing old Chinese ideas and the man representing Western ideas thus have come together to solve their conflicts. The woman's brother also goes abroad and he intends to marry a western woman, which is strictly forbiden in ancient Chinese culture... After much this ado, it is a battle of East Idea and West Idea. The book ends with the well-mingled culture -- a combination of good East and West culture. The book is printed in very big fonts and are easy to read. It does not take a long time to read, but it tells a wonderful story. In some way, I value this higher than Pearl's most famous work The Good Earth. A book suitable for people who are curious about ancient Chinese culture. (Note, nowadays we Chinese no longer do such things as binding feet or kneeling down before elders and so on) Enjoy your reading!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By momwith2kids on June 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
This was a quick and easy read told in the first person through the eyes of a Chinese woman. Also it's clear that the writer's own loyalty to the Western thought of romantic love is all over this story. It is this notion that ultimately drives the narrator to give up her old ways and accept the new.
Buck describes how difficult it is for one to accept change in age-old rituals. Although many of the traditions are seen as unnecessary, foolish or just plain sadistic, it's difficult to question them after growing up in a culture where these traditions have been practiced for thousands of years. The narrator is a good vehicle to show how upsetting, confusing and frustrating it can be to incorporate these changes into one's life. Time and time again the theme of the generation gap is revealed, showing how many people simply cannot be changed.
Although many of the following issues came into strong play in this novel, it wasn't so much a search for better opportunity, nor political freedom, independence, nor education, that was the big catalyst for change, as was the simple concept of romantic love.
This was a lovely, bittersweet story with a seemingly very realistic portrayal of how a family rooted in tradition would react to their children, who want to break from tradition. A classic issue, regardless of what era or culture in which one lives.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sakura on July 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This was an eyeopening view of a chinese family to the west.We live in a flat world now and are so familiar with everything of the west. Our concept of beauty and desirable traits in the opposite sex are derived in a major way from Hollywood. It was interesting to come across how all things foreign was view by a chinese family unexposed to any but their own culture. 'Unfortunate blonde hair' a view expressed by a young chinese wife of her husband's white woman friend would be similar to what my great grand mother in India would have said of appearances she was not familiar with. Of course thanks to the global media, beauty isn't stereo typed now and we are becoming more open to other looks and cultures and rightly so too. Pearl S Buck has done us all a favour by recording what the chinese culture was like in the early part of the 20th centuary.Her writing as usual is superlative as in all her books. Id recommend it to all those who are keen to learn of a different way of life that existed prior to our 'Flat World'
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JoeyD on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
It's Pearl S. Buck's first novel, and you can easily see that she was headed for a long, illustrious career as a writer. An American author who spent the majority of her life living in China, therefore writing about what she knows best in a totally unique fashion - a lover of the Eastern, Chinese culture, but at the same time still possessing the Western ideas of romantic love, marriage, etc... This is what this little story is about - a young woman falling in love and struggling for her own freedom, her own individuality (something that most of us take for granted living in today's Western society).

This is a wonderful little jewel of a book and I highly recommend it. If you enjoyed the 'The Good Earth' (one of my all-time favorites) then you will definitely enjoy this story. Ms. Buck writes with such effortless fluidity and charm. She keeps her prose simple yet elegant at the same time. The story also is quite educational in regards to Chinese culture. I can't believe that it has been 18 years between the time I've read 'The Good Earth' and 'East Wind: West Wind' (the only two Buck novels I've read). I can guaranty that I won't make that mistake again. After reading this story, I am very motivated to read something else by her.

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