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The New Year Paperback – May 1, 1980


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Paperback, May 1, 1980
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (May 1, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671801546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671801540
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 3.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,237,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The most influential Westerner to write about China since thirteenth-century Marco Polo." --James Thomson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This story is an intriguing story of a man who cheats on his wife and has an illegitimate child. His wife journeys to Asia to see his son. This story is as beautiful as a pearl(no pun intended) It describes the beauty of Asia and America. I would rather cuddle up with this book than eat cheesecake any day.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is Ms. Buck at her best. This is the story of a man's struggle to deal with his illegitimate son,a son he never knew existed, and this son's struggle to not only deal with his new family, but a whole new world. This story touches the reader in the very best way.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary McGreevey on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book, a slim quick read from 1968, discusses the critical issue of how a young lawyer, about 35, from a long and distinguished New England family, cannot own up to having spawned a half-breed Korean boy when he was stationed there at age 24.

He was already married when he had done so, but in loneliness and fear of imminent death, he entangled himself with a Korean 18-year-old girl, whose parents were presumed dead. He supported her; they lived together, and she hid that in fact she still had a mother on whom to lean, for then he would not have supplied food and money for her. She was a typical product of the desperate time for Korean females, who could not support themselves in any legitimate way when a father or brother was gone.

A child is born, male, and a month later the American father, Chris, is winging his way back to the USA to resume his marriage and career. Lover Soon-ya and his son Kim are left behind, with no help and no further communication, as was common with many American servicemen.

His wife is a fulltime biologist, specializing in marine pharmacology research. They are happy for eleven years, both working and living well, although they have no children.

But then came that fateful morning, that a letter arrived from the son Kim, who wanted to meet his father. In Korea, if there's no father, the child is not a registered citizen, and he or she cannot go to school. His mother Soon-ya became a performing prostitute, singing and dancing, and then a madame catering to Korean men of higher income, never to foreign men. He lives with his grandmother sometimes, and other times, sleeps on the street like an orphan. He's unwanted by his mother and taunted by Korean children, since he has a foreign face.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By moderatelymoderate on June 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
I think this book wouldn't have then nor now gotten the attention it has if it were written by Pearl S Jones. It's not a great book, but interesting none-the-less.

Had I read this book when it was originally published, I might have been perturbed by the way Laura was treated by her husband & his campaign manager, but hardly surprised. I probably would have been impressed by her successful career, given that it would have started in the days of help wanted ads that were separated by sex & the help wanted, women's ads were low-level jobs with maybe some nursing & teaching jobs.

Today I wonder how a smart woman didn't recognize earlier that her husband had no moral compass, at least not one that didn't point directly at himself. During the Korean War & its aftermath, how did he expect a young woman not to "allow a child to be born"? He obviously didn't bother to wear a condom but expected her to get an abortion? He didn't tell her he was married, deserted her, then for awhile upon his return expected his wife to be ready for sex whenever he wanted it. Indeed, at the time I don't think any US state recognized that a husband could rape his wife. Of course she didn't know about these things, but surely in their decade of marriage after his return, there were other moral issues that at least let his true colors be suspected.

Why did Ms Buck write this book? My assumption is that it was to point out the plight of the half-American children that had been abandoned by their fathers & looked down on by the full-blooded Koreans. Did she hope the book would inspire Americans to find their own children or those of their husbands or sons? Was she trying to encourage Americans to adopt some of the children? Giving the timing, was she saying something about half-Vietnamese children as well? Perhaps it was some combination of all of these.
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