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Kinfolk (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck) Paperback – January 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
She is so far above all the rest, except for Joyce Carol Oates, who is the best living writer, and could be the reincarnation of Ms. Buck. I thank God daily for giving us the great gift of both.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is, as usual from Buck, deeply insightful, engaging and well written.Published 26 days ago by AnneCelest
This is a quick, but deep look at the bridge between East and West. Great for those interested in living overseas.Published 2 months ago by Heather philpot
Always great writing and wonderful transcultural readingPublished 2 months ago by Alex Canton-Dutari
Very enlightening re post WWII China and attitudes in US. Excellent book!Published 3 months ago by Dr. Catherine Turner