The Good Earth
A novel by Pearl S. Buck published in 1931. The first book of a trilogy, The Good Earth is a marvelous epic novel that takes place in China, almost at the time of the 1949 Communist revolution.
It is the story of an uneducated and simple peasant farmer and his lifelong trials and tribulations. Wang Lung is a poor and yet incredibly hard working man who is married to the land. Nevertheless, this is not a romantic novel but instead it parallels the history of Chinese people of the time.
Right from the start the narrative grabs you as it describes how Wang Lung is getting ready to go pick up a wife, a slave in the house of Hwang, who he had never seen before. No ceremonies, wedding or anything of the sort. O-Lan, is a self-sacrificing, hard working and abnegated woman of few words and incredible strengths, who contributes to Wang Lung’s wealth in land and children. However, later on she loses her place of importance to a younger concubine.
The book is extremely well written winning Ms. Buck the Pulitzer Prize. It also contributed to her body of literary work that later on would earn her a Nobel Prize. If I have my facts straight, Ms. Buck was the first American female author to be awarded the Nobel Prize.
She lived in China since childhood and taught at the University of Nanking (Nanjing) for many years. In 1937 the book was made into a successful film.
Movie Trailer (1937)