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

4.6 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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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.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

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: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer 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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is told from the perspective of Kwei-lan, a Chinese woman from a traditional background who marries a Chinese man with modern ideas. He has studied abroad and come to believe in freedom for women. Thus, he sees her as an equal partner in the marriage, which baffles Kwei-lan who was taught women were to be subservient.

Having the world of her marriage being revealed through Kwei-lan's eyes provides a deep understanding of her reactions and difficulty in exchanging the old ways for the new. Kwei-lan's brother returns, married to an American woman, which now provides a living model for what her husband wishes her to become.

Throughout Kwei-lan's understandable bewilderment, her husband treats her with gentleness and compassion. All that she has been taught, even the oldest of traditions, is now brought into question. Ingrained beliefs are so difficult to push aside and the discomfort Kwei-lan feels is something the reader can relate to as we all have to confront change at some time in our lives that can push us way beyond our comfort zone, and accepting such change often involves much internal conflict.

Kwei-lan's biggest struggle becomes her greatest personal triumph in this marriage. The unbinding of her feet, while originally an abhorrent idea to her, ends up setting her free. Kwei-lan ultimately becomes an equal partner in the marriage and learns she has so much more to offer than she originally thought. It is almost as though she takes a deep breath for the very first time.
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