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Discovering Authors, Old & New

October 22, 2023 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

Pearl S. Buck has always been one of my favorite authors. Most know her 1931 novel, The Good Earth, and film of the same name, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. And in 1938, she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature for her depictions of China, where she lived with her missionary parents.

A prolific author, she wrote more than forty novels, over twenty works of non-fiction, an astounding bibliography of short stories, and stories for children. Even a cookbook!

And while she’s famous to us today, her male contemporaries were anything but supportive, often disparaging her writing skills. This prompted her to write other works under the pen-name, John Sedges, which were well received and lauded. Thus, proving her point that the hostility was against her as a woman, and had nothing to do with her literary abilities.

So, this past summer, I treated myself to a visit to the Pearl S. Buck Historic House in Perkasie, PA.

Pearl S. Buck’s desk and typewriter

I wanted to learn more about this author. Instead, I discovered a remarkable woman whom I admired all the more. She was an accomplished pianist. She wrote about and worked tirelessly for women’s rights, civil rights, and for the education and improvement of women’s and children’s lives all over the world. She was also one of the first to write about and champion the cause of the handicapped, chronicling her own personal experience in The Child Who Never Grew, a heart-breaking memoir of her daughter’s rare developmental disorder, originally published in 1950. (Reprint, 2017, ISBN 978-1504047968).

Her foundation continues to advocate for all of these causes today.

And just when I thought the trip couldn’t get any better, I learned that the Pearl S. Buck Historic House also offers writing courses and has its own press center to help authors self-publish.

In keeping with Buck’s work toward empowering women, I purchased the following two books in the gift shop.

A Rose in a Ditch, by Julie Henning, (Pearl S. Buck Writing Center Press, 2019, ISBN 978-1-704786-438), who writes about her life in South Korea and being rescued and then raised in the U.S. by Pearl Buck as her own daughter.

And, Where the Stork Flies, by Linda C. Wisniewski, (Sand Hill Review Press, 2021, ISBN 978-1-949534-16-0). Struggling with relationship issues with her husband and her daughter, a librarian encounters a time portal and a Polish peasant fleeing her own unhappy marriage. Together, with a little magic help, they get their lives back on track.

Veronica at the Buck House

And guess what? Turns out Wisniewski and I have several writer friends in common. How great is that!

I wish you all new and inspiring learnings and discoveries in your reading and writing journeys.

Veronica Jorge  

See you next time on November 22nd!

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