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Pearl S. Buck

Born: June 26, 1892, Hillsboro, West Virginia
Died: March 6, 1973 (age 80), Danby, Vermont

Pearl S. Buck (born Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker) was a prolific American China expert and Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer. She became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces." With no irony, she has been described in China as a Chinese writer.

What do you know about Pearl S. Buck? Try this Quick Quiz.

1. In 1892, the family was sent to Zhenjiang, China when Pearl was 3 months old. In 1910, she left China once again for America to attend Randolph-Macon Woman's College, where she would earn her degree (Phi Beta Kappa) in 1914.

  • Fact or Myth?

2. She then returned to China and married an agricultural economist missionary. Who did she marry on May 13, 1917.

  • Barrett Jackson
  • John Lossing Buck
  • William Elliott

3. In 1920, she had a daughter, Carol. What was Carol afflicted with?

  • Phenylketonuria
  • Lung cancer
  • Heart Disease

4. From 1920 to 1933, Pearl and her husband made their home in Nanjing, on the campus of Nanking University, where both had teaching positions. In 1926, she left China and returned to the United States for a short time in order to earn her Masters degree. Where did she earn her Masters?

  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
  • Yale University

5. In 1927, the "Nanking Incident" was a confused battle involving elements of Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist troops, Communist forces, and assorted warlords, several Westerners were murdered. The Pearl and her family spent a terrified day in hiding, after which they were rescued by American gunboats.

  • Fact or Myth?

6. Which novel won Pearl the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel?

  • The Orient Express
  • Years of Grace
  • The Good Earth

7. What year did she win the Nobel Prize in Literature?

  • 1938
  • 1948
  • 1958

8. In 1935 Buck divorced her first husband and married her publisher and the president of John Day Company, Richard Walsh, with whom she moved to Pennsylvania. Buck bought a sixty-acre homestead in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. What did she name the homestead?

  • Books Farm
  • Green Hills Farm
  • Rolling Springs Farm

9. What was Pearl's cause of death?

  • Heart attack
  • Lung cancer
  • Auto accident

10. Where is Pearl S. Buck buried?

  • Reformed Cemetery, Tremont, Pennsylvania
  • Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Green Hills Farm, Perkasie, Pennsylvania

Pearl S. Buck's Answers

  1. Fact
  2. John Lossing Buck
  3. Phenylketonuria
  4. Cornell University
  5. Fact
  6. The Good Earth
  7. 1938
  8. Green Hills Farm
  9. Lung cancer
  10. Angels on your pillowGreen Hills Farm, Perkasie, Pennsylvania

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