Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker, who later became known as Pearl S. Buck after she married, was born on June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia. She went on to live most of her life in China where she grew up seeing the hardships the country faced. A lot of Buck's novels, stories, poetry, drama, and children's literature were based on China and what she learned from living there. Her writings became very popular and she became the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature.
In June of 1892, Absalom and Caroline Sydenstricker gave birth to Pearl in West Virginia. Pearl was the fourth of seven children and one of only three of the children to survive to adulthood. When Pearl was three months, her parents who were Southern Presbyterian missionaries, were stationed in China. From childhood Pearl was able to speak both English and Chinese, mainly taught by her mother and by a Chinese tutor, Mr.
Kung. Pearl's father spent months away from home, traveling the Chinese countryside in search of Christian converts while Pearl's mother ministered to Chinese women. While in China, the Sydenstrickers faced hard times including the Boxer Uprising, during which Caroline and the children were evacuated to Shanghai spending several months waiting for word of Absalom's fate. After that, the family returned to the United States for another home leave. In 1910, in Lynchburg, Virginia, Pearl attended Randolph-Macon Woman's college, graduating in 1914. Intending to stay in the US, shortly after her graduation, she returned to China after her mother became dangerously ill. She remained in China after she married John Buck in 1917, moving to the impoverished community Anhwei province.
When Pearl Buck lived in Anhwei she began gathering material that she would later use in writing The Good Earth and other...