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Three Daughters of Madame Liang Paperback – January 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Moyer Bell; 1 edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559210400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559210409
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Three Daughters of Madame Liang is written with gentleness and elegance, like one of those old Chinese scroll paintings. -- The New York Times Book Review

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

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
This should be required reading in our high schools.
Constance Feathers
The style in which the story was told was very different from that of "The Good Earth."
momwith2kids
The shocking ending to the story was unexpected and expected all at once.
Bear One

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By JLind555 on March 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"The Three Daughters of Madame Liang" was Pearl S. Buck's last major novel and it holds its own with the best of her work. In Madame Liang, Buck has created a fascinating character, a woman who is very much her own person. After doing the very un-Chinese thing of leaving her husband when he takes a concubine, which he claims is his right because his wife has produced no son, Madame Liang determines to make her own way in the world and opens a gourmet restaurant that caters to the high and mighty of the People's Republic (even good Communists appreciate good food). She has not only survived, but thrived, by keeping a low profile and providing her customers with the best. But she has sent her three daughters, Grace, Mercy and Joy, to America to be educated; and now, after many years separation, Grace has been called home by her government to serve the new society.
Madame Liang has her own opinions about the new society which she has prudently kept to herself. But Grace, back home in China, throws herself into her work as a doctor and embraces everything blindly, including a young physician named Liu Pang, who parrots everything he has read in Mao's Little Red Book. Mercy, the second sister, is a musician, whose talents are not in demand in the People's Republic; but she misses her home and induces her new husband, a rocket scientist, to return to their country. For Grace, the return home is the fulfillment of herself; for Mercy and her husband, it is a disaster. Meanwhile, the third sister, Joy, a painter, having found romance and happiness with a fellow artist who has left China for good and never intends to return, remains in America to make her life with him.
Madame Liang watches the growing tension and hostility dividing the two older sisters with alarm and resignation.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By E. Rothstein VINE VOICE on August 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have read more than a dozen novels by the extraordinary Pearl S. Buck, and this is one of my all time favorites. Buck's lucid writing, and deep understanding of complex cultural issues makes this a gem. Set against the back-drop of the Chinese cultural Revolution, THE THREE DAUGHTERS OF MADAME LIANG charts the deeply personal journey and loss of one Chinese family. There is a sophistication to Buck's writing that is not always immediately apparent, but once you become used to her voice, the deceptively simple prose gives way to deeply moving insights. This is a glowing, powerful novel about a family and a country at a crossroads. Don't miss it!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pearl Buck did a masterful job of exploring the consequences of the Chinese communist revolution. Each of Madame Liang's daughters, Grace, Mercy, and Joy, come to terms with it in their own way. The essence of the book, however, is the realization that, whether a person is attracted to communism or repelled by it, his actions are usually dictated by his own personal interest. In that sense, the book is a satiric ridicule of the communist ideal.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By momwith2kids on May 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
I thought this novel was a wonderful introduction to the mindset of the Chinese people, both those living in China, and those living in America, towards the new government. It was an enlightening story because as an American, we view it simply as a government as one that took away everyone's freedoms, which it did. Yet, of course, it's not that simple. The story is about that deeply-rooted devotion to one's mother country, no matter what changes it goes through. It also reveals what led to the change of government, and what problems arised and what new changes occurred afterward. Through Madame Liang, representing the older revolutionary generation, the story showed how the revolution failed, and she saw how certain mistakes in history were made. Through her daughters, it showed the hope in which the younger generation had for the new China, and their attempts to restore a strong nation within the new framework. Also revealed was the the repression of emotions, through Grace, the eldest daughter, her hopeless lusting after Liu Peng, yet knowing that his mind was narrow and brainwashed in the Communist school of thought. Of course, the repression of individual thought was evident with John Sung, the scientist who refused to create weapons to be used against Americans. The stories surrounding Mercy and Joy, Madame Liang's two other daughters, was interesting in that they both struggled with their loyalties to China, but love, in Joy's case, kept her in America, while experience in the new China, forced Mercy to escape. There were a lot of interesting themes throughout the story, the theme of love in light of this new way of life, the theme of pride in one's own race and country. The style in which the story was told was very different from that of "The Good Earth.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tony Alcazar on June 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
Since I read the Good Earth, I fell in love with the authors' style and the wonderful way of delivering her message. This book is a piece of art.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most amazingly bittersweet novels I have ever read. I will never forget it, and think about it frequently in seemingly unrelated places of my life. If you can come across this book, I definitely suggest it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bear One on June 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book as Ms. Buck was able to take the reader inside a family caught in a changing world during the Chinese revolution and show how the characters each acted and reacted according to the information they had and what they believed or wanted to believe about that information. Madam Liang, who is coming to terms with disillusionment about the revolution and her past part in it, and her daughters, who had been sent to America for education and protection and their return to China with patriotic and idealistic expectations, are classic generational viewpoint studies. The shocking ending to the story was unexpected and expected all at once. The basic story is still relevant today.
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