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Kinfolk (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck) Paperback – January 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck
  • Paperback: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559211563
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559211567
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I love her books can't stop reading them.
sandy Field
Pearl Buck describes each character in Kinfolk with clarity and love.
Frances J. Wojnar
This is a story of a Chinese family in America.
Cathy L. Craigo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This story covers the coming-of-age of four American-raised Chinese young people in the early 1900's. James, a talented young surgeon, decides to devote his life to serving the poor in China, and his siblings follow him. His teacher-sister Mary is equally devoted, but their younger brother Peter is disillusioned by the China he sees & listens sympathetically to the growing communist party. The youngest sister, Louise, has become very westernized & can imagine no home for herself but America. The story paints an interesting picture of how these brothers & sisters struggle to find their own identity in a world that is no longer simple.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Galindo VINE VOICE on November 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have loved Pearl S. Buck's writing since I first read her novel, "The Good Earth," when I was a kid. She fostered in me a curiosity about China mixed with a respect for the people and the culture. When I discovered an old, hardback copy of "Kinfolk" in a used bookstore, I snatched it up! Little did I realize the copy I bought was from 1948, and had the originial owner's name/address on the cover - an extra bonus!

The story revolves around the Liang family: proud, arrogant, scholarly Mr. Liang, his simple, timid, but kind wife, and their 4 children. James, the oldest, has just finished medical school, Mary is calm and steady, Louise is a "typical" young woman by American standards, and Peter is determined to become a civil engineer. Mr and Mrs Liang have escaped China - and the oncoming Communist regime - for the freedom of New York City. However, along with that comes a severe clash of cultures: New York City in the 1940s is not very sensitive to the Chinese way of life, outside of Chinatown - much to the dissatisfaction of Mr. Liang.

James, who could have a brilliant career as a surgeon in New York, feels the pull of his ancestral China and his one desire is to return to the land of his parents. What results is a study of parents - displaced from an Oriental culture - into one from the West. And one of the children - displaced from a Western culture - into one from the East. Ms Buck, herself having lived both cultures, wonderfully brings the reader into the story and makes both, New York City AND Peking, come alive. The struggles, the clash of cultures, the joys, the sorrows, the small victories, the strength of spirit, all seem so real, so vibrant.

I had never heard of this novel, indeed I don't even think this is one of Ms. Buck's best. However, her writing style is so easy to get caught up in, so easy to feel part of the characters, it doesn't matter if this is the best or the least! This is a totally enjoyable story!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jethro Manjay on December 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is Pearl S. Buck at her most bewitching. At first she draws figures as clear as those in a coloring book. But soon, no one is quite who they seemed at first. The wise father is a bit cowardly and impure. The pesty little sister has great emphathy. The unsophisticated mother displays immense insight, and so on. Through their travails in New York, and in their ancestral village near Peking, the 4 Liang children and their parents will stay in your mind as fully-fleshed characters you were happy to know, and learned something in the process.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marsha J.West and Ladis D. West on June 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have never read any of Pearl Buck's books, you are missing so much. This woman is so gifted. Start with any, but I recommend "The Good Earth."
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By Nonie on May 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed very much. Love the insight of Chinese history. Character's spring to life and carry you on a tale of family life and ways.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Should be required reading for anyone with an interest in Chinese history told from the human side, instead of just a political/governmental side.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pearl's books never cease to amaze me. I love the way she can tell a story. My granddaughter was adopted from China. All of Pearl's books have some much history and their many customs. I plan to start a collection of hard covered books of Pearl's to give to my granddaughter when she gets older. Another great book by one of my favorite authors.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pearl Buck has been my favorite author since childhood. I am re-reading all of her books. China is one of my favorite places and I love reading about it's history from the view of personal experiences of Ms. Buck's characters and before my own modern China experience happened. It wasn't my favorite, but I get lost in her stories and how her characters come alive and become acquaintances of the reader. You feel you know them personally.
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