Pearl S. Buck | Critical Review by Fanny Butcher

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of Pearl S. Buck.
This section contains 434 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Fanny Butcher

Critical Review by Fanny Butcher

SOURCE: "Memoirs of Genius at Large," in Chicago Sunday Tribune Magazine of Books, November 7, 1954, p. 1.

In the following review, Butcher asserts that "Pearl Buck has a genius for making readers see pictures and know human beings, often with humor. Nowhere has she used that genius more tellingly than in parts of My Several Worlds."

There are few writers who could so aptly use the title, My Several Worlds, for an autobiography. Few have lived so close to so many worlds. To most Americans Pearl Buck is best known as the first American woman to receive the Nobel prize for literature, the author of an unremembered number of books [39]—especially The Good Earth, which touched readers deeply.

To those who have read any of those books, Pearl Buck is obviously a woman of uncommon good will, a believer in man's inherent potentialities for understanding and loving his fellow men even when his actions belie those possibilities. Readers sense, even if they do not know, that in her life there must have been reagents—different from those in most lives—which have clarified her philosophy—the way that a cloudy test tube is chemically clarified.

In My Several Worlds, Pearl Buck tells of those reagents—literally different worlds in which she has lived. The book is subtitled, "A Personal Record," and personal it is in the sense of being a record of what her very seeing eyes saw and what her heart understood. It is not personal in the sense of being outspokenly self-revealing.

Her autobiography is in a new pattern, with no personal intimacies, but surprisingly intimate in its revelations of man's relationship to man in the world of yesterday as well as of today and tomorrow.

Pearl Buck has a genius for making readers see pictures and know human beings, often with humor. Nowhere has she used that genius more tellingly than in parts of My Several Worlds. Not only the Chinese, but, more briefly, Indian, Japanese, Indo-Chinese. All Asia lives in these pages as it has lived in few books of our day. The more familiar American scenes and people in the book are, perhaps by their very familiarity, less vivid.

Miss Buck's Chinese world is only one of her several worlds. There are her worlds as a writer, a teacher, a farmer, a mother of her own retarded child [whose future as much as China's upheaval brought her back to America to live] and five adopted sons and daughters; her world of helping despondent parents of other retarded innocents and of finding homes for unwanted babies of mixed blood; and over all her world of friendships.

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This section contains 434 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Fanny Butcher
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