Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

Pearl S.
Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu
1892
1973

American Novelist and Humanitarian, Nobel Prize in Literature and Pulitzer Prize Winner

Author Quotes

If life were known one moment ahead, how could it be endured?

It is not poverty that is to be heard, but the lack of balance between riches and poverty.

Men of action, whose minds are too busy with the day's work to see beyond it. They are essential men, we cannot do without them, and yet we must not allow all our vision to be bound by the limitations of men of action.

Somehow I had learned from Thoreau, who doubtless learned it from Confucius, that if a man comes to do his own good for you, then must you flee that man and save yourself.

Andre had been telling her an ancient legend of the fall of man into evil. It came about, he said, by the hand of a woman, Eve, who gave man forbidden fruit. And how was this woman to know that the fruit was forbidden? Madame Wu had inquired. An evil spirit, in the shape of a serpent, whispered it to her, Andre had said. Why to her instead of to the man? she had inquired. Because he knew that her mind and her heart were fixed not upon the man, but upon the pursuance of life, he had replied. The man's mind and heart were fixed upon himself. He was happy enough, dreaming that he possessed the woman and the garden. Why should he be tempted further? He had all. But the woman could always be tempted by the thought of a better garden, a larger space, more to possess, because she knew that out of her body would come many more beings, and for them she plotted and planned. The woman thought not of herself, but of the many whom she would create. For their sake she was tempted. For their sake she will always be tempted.

Every event has had its cause, and nothing, not the least wind that blows, is accident or causeless. To understand what happens now one must find the cause, which may be very long ago in its beginning, but is surely there, and therefore a knowledge of history as detailed as possible is essential if we are to comprehend the present and be prepared for the future. Fate, Mr. Kung taught me, is not the blind superstition or helplessness that waits stupidly for what may happen. Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance.

However impatient she might be in the day, however filled with little sudden angers, at night she was all tenderness.

If you start to revise before you've reached the end, you're likely to begin dawdling with the revisions and putting off the difficult task of writing.

It is the end of a family- when they begin to sell their land. Out of the land we came and into we must go - and if you will hold your land you can live- no one can rob you of land.

Men would rather be starving and free than fed in bonds.

Story belongs to the people. They are sounder judges of it than anyone else, for their senses are unspoiled and their emotions are free.

As for New York City, it is a place apart. There is not its match in any other country in the world.

Families are only a means of exploitation,' he declared. 'Parents treat children as capital assets and children wait for parents to die so that they will have an unearned income.' 'So children spy on fathers,' Mercy put in, 'and sons are sent far from their parents--' 'That the young may not inherit the prejudices of the old.

I am always glad when any of my books can be put into an inexpensive edition, because I like to think that any people who might wish to read them can do so. Surely books ought to be within reach of everybody.

In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream of fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book. I am a writer and I take up my pen to write.

It is the highest reward when a writer hears when a book written in doubt and solitude, has reached a human heart with a deeper meaning than even the writer had been aware of, as she wrote. It is something extra, the unexpected return.

Music is not technique and melody, but the meaning of life itself, infinitely sorrowful and unbearably beautiful.

At my age the bones are water in the morning until food is given them.

Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance.

I am an inveterate homemaker, it is at once my pleasure, my recreation, and my handicap. Were I a man, my books would have been written in leisure, protected by a wife and a secretary and various household officials. As it is, being a woman, my work has had to be done between bouts of homemaking.

In any war a victory means another war, and yet another, until some day inevitably the tides turn, and the victor is the vanquished, and the circle reverses itself, but remains nevertheless a circle. ... I came home more torn in heart than any child should be, for I saw that each side was right as well as wrong, and I yearned over both in a helpless fashion, unable to see how, history being what it was, anything now could be done.

It may be that religion is dead, and if it is, we had better know it and set ourselves to try to discover other sources of moral strength before it is too late.

Nothing and no one can destroy the Chinese people. They are relentless survivors. They are the oldest civilized people on earth. Their civilization passes through phases but its basic characteristics remain the same. They yield, they bend to the wind, but they never break.

Be born anywhere, little embryo novelist, but do not be born under the shadow of a great creed, not under the burden of original sin, not under the doom of salvation.

Fate, Mr. Kung taught me, is not the blind superstition or helplessness that waits stupidly for what may happen. Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance.

Author Picture
First Name
Pearl S.
Last Name
Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu
Birth Date
1892
Death Date
1973
Bio

American Novelist and Humanitarian, Nobel Prize in Literature and Pulitzer Prize Winner